Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, also known as The Bradley Act, effectively banning sports wagering nationwide in the United States. In May of 2018 PASPA was ruled unconstitutional, opening the floodgates for States to pass their own legislation regarding sports gambling. This was a massive win for sports gambling in the United States, as Nevada was no longer the only States with the means to pass legislation on this matter.


The bill was first introduced in 1991 and signed into law on October 28, 1992 by George H.W. Bush. The goal of the Act was to prohibit sports wagering under State law, governing the States decision to allow sports wagering. The bill was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in Murphy vs. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) on May 14, 2018. The main reasoning for declaring the Act unconstitutional was that the bill violated States’ rights under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution.

Exempted States from PASPA

Four States were exempted from PASPA in 1992, for differing reasons. These States include Nevada for licensed sports betting, as well as Oregon, Delaware and Montana for sports lotteries.

Efforts Against PASPA

New Jersey was the State at the forefront of continued efforts against PASPA, ramping up efforts in 2009 by filing a lawsuit claiming that PASPA discriminated against certain States, because the law allowed some States to participate while disallowing others. New Jersey continued its assault on PASPA in 2011 and 2012 by enacting their own laws to allows sports wagering at racetracks and casinos, knowingly in the face of PASPA.  These laws laid the groundwork for the State to act swiftly should PASPA be reversed and allowed New Jersey to gain first-mover advantage once PASPA was struck down in 2018.


What did Chris Christie push until he stepped down in 2017?

The Murphy vs. NCAA case was initially spearheaded by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie until he stepped down in 2017.

Who was one of the main voices in favor of enacting PASPA in 1992?

Then-commissioner of the NBA, David Stern, was one of the main voices in favor of enacting PASPA in 1992.

How many states had legalized sports betting as of July 2019?

As of July 2019, eight States now have legalized, state-regulated sports betting industries: Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Rhode Island, and Arkansas.

What states have passed or have bills in-progress to legalize sports betting?

Seven additional States either have passed law or have bills in-progress to allow legalized, state-regulated sports betting industries: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, and Tennessee. All of these States could have some sort of legal wagering in 2019 or 2020.

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