A view of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
Legislation | Litigation

Supreme Court takes up sports betting case whose outcome could impact tribes

The U.S. Supreme Court will be ruling in a sports betting case and the outcome could impact tribal rights.

The justices heard arguments in Christie v. NCAA and New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, Inc. v. NCAA on Monday. According to news reports, some seemed skeptical of a federal law that outlaws sports betting in all but four states.

"That's what this is about, telling states what to do, and therefore, it falls within commandeering," Justice Stephen G. Breyer said of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which dates to 1992. Commandeering would be considered a violation of a state's sovereignty, Breyer and some of the other justices said.

If the law is struck down, the decision could open the door to sports betting in Indian Country. A handful of tribes have said they want to be able to offer such wagers , although most have not taken a public position on the matter.

The National Indian Gaming Association has joined the American Sports Betting Coalition, a group that supports the repeal of the 1992 law. NIGA has said it wants to ensure tribes are at the table as discussions move forward.

Read More on the Story:
High Court Hints It Could Side With State on Sports Betting (The Associated Press December 4, 2017)
Argument analysis: Justices seem to side with state on sports betting (SCOTUSBlog December 4, 2017)
A “view” from the courtroom: Must be in the front row (SCOTUSBlog December 4, 2017)
Justices Skeptical of Sports Gambling Ban (The New York Times December 4, 2017)
Christie Looks to Sports Gambling for a Rare Second-Term Victory (The New York Times December 3, 2017)

Supreme Court Documents:
Oral Argument Transcript: Christie v. NCAA / New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, Inc. v. NCAA (December 4, 2017)

Related Stories:
Gaming group promotes tribal interests in Supreme Court sports betting case (September 5, 2017)
Indian Country warms up to legislation to repeal federal ban on sports betting (August 21, 2017)
National Indian Gaming Association clarifies position on sports betting coalition (August 8, 2017)
National Indian Gaming Association backs effort to legalize sports betting (August 1, 2017)