Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has described the US federal sports betting ban as unconstitutional, in a statement published by the American Sports Betting Coalition (ASBC).
The comments were made in relation to the state of New Jersey’s Supreme Court betting case, in which the state is attempting to partially repeal laws under the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).
The full quote by Paxton, published by the ASBC on Twitter, read: “PASPA is unconstitutional and tramples on state sovereignty. By ending PASPA, states can rightfully decide whether they want regulated sports betting or not.”
As Texas AG, Paxton is an official who is renowned for siding with President Trump, but on this occasion, he has chosen to oppose the position of the Trump administration, who last month issued Solicitor General Noel Francisco to file a Supreme Court brief against New Jersey’s repeal motion.
What makes Paxton’s stance even more surprising is his history of opposing esports. He once described daily fantasy sports (DFS) as illegal gambling and is currently fighting global DFS provider DraftKings in court in a case deciding on whether it has the right to operate in the state of Texas.
Meanwhile, a broad coalition of anti-gambling groups filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court, attempting to block those aiming to bring sports betting into New Jersey.
The 30 groups, which include the Public Health Advocacy Institute and Concerned Women for America, spend the majority of the 33-page brief discussing negative effects and social costs of gambling.
The groups are “united in their opposition to the exploitation of American communities through commercial gambling” the brief details.
It also refers to a University of Massachusetts School of Public Health and Health Sciences paper that shows a higher prevalence of gambling problems among sports bettors as compared with other forms of gambling, such as lottery and casino games.