Donald Trump has been a supporter of legalizing sports betting long before he became President of the United States but his administration sided with the professional sports leagues in opposition to allowing New Jersey to offer sports betting.
On Monday morning, New Jersey won a landmark decision by the Supreme Court which could lead to many more U.S. states legalizing betting on college and professional sports. The Supreme Court ruled 7–2 to strike down the federal law that prohibited sports betting from expanding outside of Nevada.
In the 90s, Trump tried to bring legalized sports betting to Atlantic City casinos. In 1992, Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. PASPA stopped new states from offering sports betting. Nevada was the only state that had state-sponsored betting. Oregon, Delaware and Montana were grandfathered in. Nevada legalized all forms of sports betting in 1949. New Jersey was the only state that featured commercial gambling for 10 years to legalize sports betting during the first year PASPA took effect. New Jersey was unable to pass the law in 1993.
Trump went on a radio show and ripped Garabed "Chuck" Haytaian, then the speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly, for allowing New Jersey to miss out on legalizing sports betting. Trump believed that taxpayers and senior citizens would be the biggest benefactors of legalizing sports betting in New Jersey.
You can listen to fiery debate between Haytian and Trump below:
While campaigning for the presidency in 2015, Trump was asked about legalizing sport betting and told FOX Sports' Colin Cowherd, "I'm OK with it because it's happening anyway. Whether you have it or you don't have it, you have it."
In October, Trump's administration sided with the major professional sports leagues on opposing New Jersey's sports betting offering. Trump was going against former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who also ran against Trump in the presidential race before backing him, who started the challenge of the 1992 federal law. Christie called the major sports leagues hypocrites since they have already started moving hockey and football teams to Las Vegas.
The American Gaming Association estimates that about $150 million is wagered on sports every year in the United States.