Sometimes it pays to shop around
PASPA and a small world
A 2013 paper by Professors Ryan Rodenberg and Anastasios Kaburakis called “Legal and Corruption Issues in Sports Gambling” contains a reference to a Sept. 24, 1991, letter — six months after Rutgers’ last March Madness appearance — that was sent from Assistant Attorney General W. Lee Rawls to the then-chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
Rawls wrote that he found a “particularly troubling” provision of PASPA gave a unique power to the five sports organizations to sue any state to ensure enforcement of the ban.
More than 25 years later, the majority of the Supreme Court found PASPA troubling enough to reject a suggestion by two judges that PASPA be limited rather than erased entirely.
The two U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals judges whose ruling was nullified by the nation’s top court were Marjorie Rendell — the then-wife of former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, whose backing of legalization of casinos in his state led Lesniak and others to seek new gambling options to help Atlantic City’s casinos — and Maryanne Trump Barry, the sister of former President Donald Trump.
New Jersey was the lone state under PASPA to gain a one-year extension for 1993 to legalize sports betting — and Trump, who then owned several Atlantic City casinos, campaigned for legalization.
As for that Judiciary Committee chairman who received the 1991 letter, that would be one Joe Biden, the man who defeated Trump in November to ascend to the presidency.