Bet On It: The Case for Legal Sports Gambling in the United States

Christie, Andrew [Browse]
Senior thesis
110 pages


Cameron, Charles [Browse]
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs [Browse]
Class year
Summary note
After taking a short trip to Las Vegas in the fall, I became interested in how the spectacle of sports gambling may play out on a national scale. Therefore, I embarked on research into the history of sports gambling in the United States, looking back at old newspaper articles and newer books. This research led to my discovery of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), federal legislation that effectively banned traditional sports gambling everywhere but Nevada. I then examined a few thousand historical newspaper articles relating to sports gambling scandals both before and after PASPA, to see if the legislation made a significant change. My conclusion in that case was that PASPA had done nothing to curb sports gambling scandals. I then described the current legal challenge of PASPA by New Jersey, which poses a threat to the constitutionality of PASPA by exposing its disregard for the equal sovereignty doctrine. Further, I studied the current phenomenon of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), and how it is exposing the hypocrisy of professional sports leagues that oppose legal traditional sports gambling. I conclude by asserting that PASPA has failed to accomplish its stated goal of protecting the integrity of the game, and as such the legislation is unnecessary. Additionally, I propose that each State be given the ability to legalize and regulate sports gambling at the state level, given the current roadblocks to federal legislation.

Supplementary Information