The Future of Sports Betting; Interview with AG Burnett – Pt I

Casino and Gambling News, May 29, 2018

by Lars Jones and additional reporting by K. Morrison

When New Jersey filed briefs with the Supreme Court on the future of sports betting last August, many legal experts predicted that the conservative court would rule in favor of Gov. Christie and strike down the Bradley Act as unconstitutional.

After Gov. Christie left office, the action was renamed for the current governor, and on May 14, 2018 the High Court handed state’s rights advocates and legalized betting proponents a victory in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The 7-2 decision drove sports betting interests in 46 states currently without legal sports betting into the end zone.  The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA/Bradley Act) was shut out in overtime.

The sports leagues, who helped champion the law in the early 1990s, retreated to the sidelines while betting interests took to the field and to the locker rooms to start hammering out a vision for the future. Betting company stocks soared on the news, and the first of many expected mergers and acquisitions took place with the UK’s Paddy Power Betfair snatching up American fantasy sports company, FanDuel.

While the Supreme Court’s decision was predictable – about 20 states already had legislation in the works or on the books prior the Court’s final action – this is still a very important time wherein bad decisions could set some states back in the race to capture much-needed revenue streams. With potential competition all around them now, will Pennsylvania hold on to the thought they can levy a 34% tax on action? How will West Virginia integrate sports betting regulation into a lottery commission that already oversees gaming at racetracks and a casino?

For these answers and more, we turn to one of the nation’s most experienced lawyers and regulators in the matter, AG Burnett.

Mr. Burnett is currently a partner at McDonald Carano, a Nevada business and gaming institution of almost 70 years. Prior to that he was Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) from 2012 through 2017. During that time he also served on various committees, was responsible for gaming related security investigations, negotiated and held oversight of tribal gaming compacts, and had direct involvement with the Nevada legislature on all gaming matters during his tenure.  To read entire article click here.

About McDonald Carano

McDonald Carano has been shaping Nevada’s legal, business, and policy landscape since our founding in 1949. With more than 60 lawyers and government affairs professionals working from offices in Reno, Las Vegas, and Carson City, we are Nevada’s law firm for business. Our local, national and international clients include Fortune 500 corporations, fast-growth and mid-market companies, entrepreneurs and startups, non-profit organizations, government entities, and high-net-worth individuals. Our attorneys deliver cross-discipline, one-stop, business law and government affairs counsel. Please visit

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