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Murphy v. NCAA

Supreme Court of the United States

December 4, 2017, Argued1; May 14, 2018, Decided

Nos. 16-476 and 16-477.

Opinion

Justice Alito delivered the opinion of the Court.

The State of New Jersey wants to legalize sports gambling at casinos and horseracing tracks, but a federal law, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, generally makes it unlawful for a State to “authorize” sports gambling schemes. 28 U. S. C. §3702(1). We must decide whether this provision is compatible with the system [***9]  of “dual sovereignty” embodied in the Constitution.

Americans have never been of one mind about gambling, and attitudes have swung back and forth. By the end of the 19th  [*1469]  century, gambling was largely banned throughout the country, 2 but beginning in the 1920s and 1930s, laws prohibiting gambling were gradually loosened.

New Jersey’s experience is illustrative. In 1897, New Jersey adopted a constitutional amendment that barred all gambling in the State. 3 But during the Depression, the State permitted parimutuel betting on horse races as a way of increasing state revenue, 4 and in 1953, churches and other nonprofit organizations were allowed to host bingo games. 5 In 1970, New Jersey became the third State to  [**865]  run a state lottery, 6 and within five years, 10 other States followed suit. 7

By the 1960s, Atlantic City, “once the most fashionable resort of the Atlantic Coast,” had fallen on hard times, 8 and casino gambling came to be seen as a way to revitalize the city. 9 In 1974, a referendum on statewide legalization failed, 10 but two years later, voters approved a narrower measure allowing casino gambling in Atlantic City alone. 11 At that time, Nevada was the only other State with legal

 [***10] casinos, 12 and thus for a while the Atlantic City casinos had an east coast monopoly. “With 60 million people living within a one-tank car trip away,” Atlantic City became “the most popular tourist destination in the United States.” 13 But that favorable situation eventually came to an end.

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138 S. Ct. 1461 *; 200 L. Ed. 2d 854 **; 2018 U.S. LEXIS 2805 ***; 86 U.S.L.W. 4282; 27 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 233; 2018 WL 2186168

PHILIP D. MURPHY, GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY, et al., Petitioners (No. 16-476) v. NATIONAL COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION, et al.

Notice: The LEXIS pagination of this document is subject to change pending release of the final published version.

Prior History:  [***1] ON WRITS OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT

NCAA v. Governor of N.J., 832 F.3d 389, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14606 (3d Cir. N.J., Aug. 9, 2016)

Disposition: 832 F. 3d 389, reversed.

CORE TERMS

sports, gambling, authorization, federal law, state law, schemes, provisions, regulation, legalization, repeal, casinos, enact, anticommandeering, sports-gambling, commandeering, courts, lotteries, cases, ban, licensing, prohibitions, sponsor[ing, state legislature, sovereignty, preemption, advertise, wagering, operat[ing, betting, violates

Governments, State & Territorial Governments, Constitutional Law, Relations Among Governments, Congressional Duties & Powers, Reserved Powers, Congressional Duties & Powers, Supremacy Clause, Supreme Law of the Land, Federal Preemption, Business & Corporate Compliance, Governments, State & Territorial Governments, Gaming & Lotteries, Legislatures, Legislation, Severability, Criminal Law & Procedure, Miscellaneous Offenses, Gambling, Elements