Matzie encouraged by Supreme Court decision to hear sports betting appeal

HARRISBURG, June 27 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, hailed the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today to address a federal law banning states from authorizing sports betting.

"I am encouraged by the court’s decision to hear the New Jersey case in the fall," Matzie said. "It's the furthest any challenge has gone in the courts and would be a big boost to our gaming revenue in Pennsylvania."

In a surprise move, the justices today accepted petitions challenging the constitutionality of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, heightening prospects of expanded legalized sports betting.

“Pennsylvania faces billion-dollar revenue shortfalls, and legalizing sports betting will enable Pennsylvanians to participate – and our commonwealth to regulate and generate income – in a multimillion dollar industry that already exists,” said Matzie, whose H.B. 519 would legalize sports betting in Pennsylvania's casinos and their licensed facilities. “A favorable ruling by the Supreme Court this fall would clear the way for my measure.”

Matzie’s legislation awaits consideration by the full House after it received unanimous support in April in the House Gaming Oversight Committee.

“With my bill, Pennsylvania will be poised to oversee sports betting in all its forms if the federal ban is lifted,” said Matzie, noting that current law permits sports betting only in Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana. “Sports betting is a $400-billion-a-year industry that requires and deserves regulation to protect patrons.”

Twelve licensed casinos are located in Pennsylvania, including Rivers Casino in Allegheny County; The Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington County; Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin in Fayette County and Presque Isle Downs in Erie County.