Changing the Game: How the United States Can Look to the European Union to Create Effective Sports Betting Legislation in a Post-PASPA World

Author:Nicolas T. Corbett
Pages:2273-2298
2273
Changing the Game: How the United
States Can Look to the European Union
to Create Effective Sports Betting
Legislation in a Post-PASPA World
Nicolas T. Corbett*
ABSTRACT: The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act
(“PASPA”), which outlawed state-sponsored sports betting in the United
States, was recently struck down as a violation of the anticommandeering
principle in a 6–3 ruling by the Supreme Court. This has opened the door for
states to finally legalize sports betting. This Note argues that in order to craft
better legislation surrounding legalized sports betting, states should look to the
experiences of different European Union Member States, where sports betting
has been legal for quite some time. The European Union has experienced
issues with match fixing, gambling advertisements, and their effects on young
people. This Note proposes two solutions for legal sports betting—one that
would maintain state sovereignty and one that would advocate for federal
legislation—that will ensure a smooth transition into the new era of legalized
sports betting. This Note concludes by arguing that federal legislation would
be the most effective response to the issues presented in this Note.
I. INTRODUCTION ........................................................................... 2274
II.THE HISTORY OF SPORTS BETTING IN THE UNITED STATES
AND EUROPE ............................................................................... 2276
A.THE HISTORY OF SPORTS BETTING IN THE UNITED
STATES ................................................................................. 2276
B.THE PROFESSIONAL AND AMATEUR SPORTS PROTECTION
ACT ...................................................................................... 2278
1.Murphy v. NCAA ........................................................... 2281
2.State Action Post-PASPA ............................................. 2282
C.THE HISTORY OF SPORTS BETTING IN EUROPE ........................ 2283
*
J.D. Candidate, The University of Iowa College of Law, 2020; B.A., Iowa State University,
2017.
2274 IOWA LAW REVIEW [Vol. 105:2273
1.Sports Betting for European Union Member
States ............................................................................ 2284
2.Major European Union Sports Betting Issues ........... 2285
III.THE POTENTIAL CHALLENGES THAT ACCOMPANY
LEGALIZED SPORTS BETTING ...................................................... 2287
A.MATCH FIXING ..................................................................... 2287
1.The United Kingdom .................................................. 2288
2.Italy ............................................................................... 2288
3.Other Examples ........................................................... 2290
B.ADVERTISING ........................................................................ 2291
1.The United Kingdom .................................................. 2292
2.Italy ............................................................................... 2293
3.Spain............................................................................. 2294
IV.HOW THE UNITED STATES CAN USE THE MEMBER STATES
OF THE EUROPEAN UNION TO CRAFT BETTER SPORTS
BETTING LEGISLATION ................................................................ 2295
A.MATCH FIXING ..................................................................... 2295
B.ADVERTISING ........................................................................ 2297
V.CONCLUSION .............................................................................. 2298
I. INTRODUCTION
In May of 2018, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that completely
changed the game for sports-betting legislation.1 The Court delivered its
ruling on Murphy v. NCAA,2 which determined the future of the Professional
and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PASPA” or “the Act”).3 The Act, passed
in 1992, outlawed sports betting in nearly every state in the Union.4 Four
states were grandfathered in, allowing them to keep whatever form of sports
1. See A.J. Perez, What It Means: Supreme Court Strikes Down PASPA Law that Limited Sports
Betting, USA TODAY, https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/2018/05/14/supreme-court-
sports-betting-paspa-law-new-jersey/440710002/ [https://perma.cc/8KNT-8FFR] (last updated
May 14, 2018, 3:23 PM) (stating that the Supreme Court “effectively killed . . . the federal law
that essentially limited sports betting to one state for the last 25 years”).
2. Murphy v. NCAA, 138 S. Ct. 1461 (2018).
3. See David Purdum, Supreme Court Strikes Down Federal Law Prohib iting Sports Gambling,
ESPN (May 14, 2018), http://www.espn.com/chalk/story/_/id/23501236/supreme-court-
strikes-federal-law-prohibiting-sports-gambling [https://perma.cc/LCT2-WXS9] (noting that
the case’s outcome was “a landmark decision that gives states the go-ahead to legalize betting on
sports”).
4. See id. (“[The Act ] mad e Ne vada the only sta te where a person could wager on the results
of a single game.”).

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