Hints of Legal Sports Betting in the US

Changes being made by the Trump administration to the US legal system could hint at upcoming changes to sports betting laws across the country.  Trump nominated Noel Francisco as his top Supreme Court attorney, making him representative of the administration’s executive branch in Supreme Court matters.

Francisco’s appointment could impact New Jersey’s numerous attempts to introduce Vegas-style sports betting in the state. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court invited the Solicitor General to file a brief explaining the federal government’s view on statewide sports betting – providing some hope for New Jersey and other states hoping to move away from the federal ban.

A researcher at Columbia Law School, Adam Feldman, explained why the Solicitor General is known as the ‘Tenth Justice’ – “Because of his or her regular appearances before the Supreme Court and trusted status as a litigant,” he said.

Last month, in replying to a question regarding his position on legal sports betting in the US, Trump did not close any doors to this option. “I would be talking to sports league commissioners, and we’ll see how they feel about it,” he said. “I’d also get the input from lots of law enforcement officials, because, obviously, expanded legalized sports betting is a big step.”

“We wouldn’t do it lightly, I can tell you that,” the president said. “It will be studied very carefully.”

Sports betting proponents are hoping that Trump’s willingness to discuss the issue is also reflected in the opinions of his new solicitor general.