Editor's Note: The Sports Gambling (anti) Federalist Papers


  • John Holden Oklahoma State University




gambling, sports, NCAA, Congress, sports wagering, gambling regulations, federal government, state government


The foundation for this special issue was laid when the U.S. Supreme Court announced on May 14, 2018, that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PASPA”) violated the anti-commandeering principle contained within the Tenth Amendment. The decision in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association opened the door for states around the country to begin legalizing sports wagering for the first time in more than 25 years. The response to this newfound opportunity has been met with enthusiasm, with more than 15 states passing legislation to legalize sports gambling of various types within their borders in just over two years. The excitement over sports betting has not gone unnoticed by Congress, which, in September 2018, held a hearing titled “Post-PASPA: An Examination of Sports Betting in America.” The hearing sparked debate over what role the federal government should have in a new world where sports betting could be regulated across the country, as opposed to being confined largely to Nevada.

Author Biography

John Holden, Oklahoma State University

John T. Holden , PhD, is an assistant professor of legal studies in the Department of Management in the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University. His research interests include sport corruption and gambling regulation.


Murphy v. Nat’l Collegiate Athletic Ass’n, 584 U.S. ___ (2018).

Legislative Tracker: Sports Betting, LEGAL SPORTS REP. (last visited July 2, 2020), https://www.legalsportsreport.com/sportsbetting-bill-tracker/.

Hearing: Post-PASPA: An Examination of Sports Betting in America, U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE REPOSITORY (last visited July 2, 2020), https://docs.house.gov/Committee/Calendar/ByEvent.aspx?EventID=108721.

Adam Candee, Hatch, Schumer Preparing To Drop Federal Sports Betting Bill In Senate, LEGAL SPORTS REP. (Dec. 19, 2018), https://www.legalsportsreport.com/26901/federal-sports-betting-bill-drop/.

Wayne Parry, Virus Could Lead More States to OK Sports, Online Betting, ASSOCIATED PRESS (May 29, 2020), https://apnews.com/4f807ed3fda8a7c357d7826f5a9518a3.






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