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What is PASPA? The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act Explained

The Supreme Court killed PASPA and has paved the way for legalized sports betting.

The United States Supreme Court rules in favor of New Jersey to strike down the 1992 federal law that prohibited sports betting in many U.S. states. The decision upheld the legality of New Jersey's 2014 state law that permits sports betting in New Jersey casinos and racetracks.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was signed into law by President Bush in 1992 and went into effect in January 1993. It is also commonly known as the Bradley Act after Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey. 

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.

PASPA did not outlaw sports betting. Sports betting had already been illegal but the decision stopped the spread of sports betting in the United States by preventing states from regulating gambling.

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New Jersey comes into the picture because it 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.

Now that PASPA has been struck down by a 7-2 decision in the Supreme Court, each state can determine and establish its own regulated sports betting laws.