Journal of Law and Policy


Kaitlyn Kallert


The Supreme Court’s 2018 decision overruling the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act’s (“PASPA”) federal prohibition on sports betting as unconstitutional under the Tenth Amendment has cleared the way for states to legalize sports gambling, which, in turn, has proven a controversial subject. Supporters of state legalization of sports gambling “argue that legalization will generate revenue for states and critically weaken illegal sports betting operations, which are often commissioned by organized crime.” However, as the Supreme Court notes, opponents contend that the legalization of sports betting will expose America’s youth to accessible gambling, “encourage people of modest means to squander their savings, and corrupt both professional and college sports.” This Note details the history of sports betting in the United States predating the passage of PASPA in 1992 and discusses PASPA’s intent to protect players and the public from the risk and corruption that accompanies sports wagering. It evaluates PASPA’s eventual overruling and argues that legalized sports betting is especially dangerous in the realm of college athletics. While gambling in any sports league provides opportunities for scandal and corruption, Congress should take action to ban gambling in collegiate and other amateur sports in particular, as these contexts pose a heightened risk for corruption predicated on the athletes’ youthfulness and vulnerability. We should not gamble with the integrity of our colleges or the futures of our college athletes. Our young athletes deserve legal protection from the seedy influences of gambling, and fans deserve to know that athletic competitions are honest and fair.