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Thursday, January 26, 2017
The Role of Race on the "Pay for Play" Debate

A fascinating article was just published in the Political Research Quarterly titled “Prejudice or Principled Conservatism? Racial Resentment and White Opinion toward Paying College Athletes” by Kevin Wallsten, Tatishe Nteta, Lauren McCarthy and Melinda Tarsi.

One of the undercurrents in the debate over paying college athletes has been one of race. The sports of football and basketball generate the substantial portion of revenue for college athletics, and African-American men are dramatically overrepresented in these sports on college campuses relative to the overall collegiate population.

Most arguments to alter NCAA rules governing compensation to college athletes in revenue producing sports have centered on antitrust law or free market economic market theory. Of note however, Taylor Branch argued that race has played a role in delaying the fight to change the NCAA’s definition of amateurism in his seminal article “The Shame of College SportsThe Atlantic in 2011.

This new article concludes, “prejudice against African Americans determines how whites feel about increasing compensation for college athletes” and that in every survey to date, “African Americans have expressed higher levels of support than whites for paying college athletes.”

Regardless of your stance on the “pay for play” debate, it is interesting to note the role all of our predispositions towards race may have on this movement.

You may read the abstract of this article here, and download it here.

Thursday, January 19, 2017
Michigan Introduces Sports Betting Bill; Third State This Year

New Jersey's quest to overturn the federal ban on state-sanctioned sports betting had largely been a solo effort for the past four-and-one-half years. States that were interested in having legal sports betting within their borders (and there were many) were largely content to remain on the sidelines and let New Jersey carry the water--and, of course, all of the legal fees--on the issue and, hopefully, one day reap the dividends of a New Jersey victory. That eventuality may still come to pass, especially as it appears that the Supreme Court is inching towards taking a look at PASPA.

But several states are no longer content to wait it out, and have recently advanced legislation to legalize sports betting. Earlier this month, South Carolina and New York lawmakers introduced bills that would legalize sports betting through an amendment to that state's constitution (which would be accomplished through a voter referendum), although one influential New York lawmaker, Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow (the Chair of the Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee), maintains that a constitutional amendment is not necessary in New York and plans on introducing his own bill (sans constitutional amendment) later this month.

The latest state to crash the party is Michigan. On Wednesday, State Rep. Robert Kosowksi (D-Westland) introduced House Bill No. 406, which seeks to amend the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act to allow the holder of any state-issued casino license "to accept wagers on sporting events." The bill also seeks to empower the state gaming control board to promulgate rules to regulate the conduct of sports betting." (A link to the bill can be found here). The bill seeks to legalize sports betting in Michigan through a vote of "qualified electors of this state at the next general election after the effective date of this amendatory act." In other words, a voter referendum, similar to the South Carolina and New York measures. But with a slight variation. The Michigan bill proposes two referenda: a statewide vote and a vote by electors in the township or city where the sports betting would take place. Under the bill, which was referred yesterday to the Committee on Regulatory Reform, the proposed constitutional amendment to allow sports betting in Michigan would take effect "10 days after the date of the official declaration of the [statewide and local] vote." 

The reason why Michigan lawmakers would propose a voter referendum--rather than just legalize it themselves through a straight-up legislative enactment--is because of the state constitutional prohibition against gambling, which would require an amendment to the state constitution to create exceptions to that prohibition, such as for sports gambling. That's one of the reasons why iGaming faces such a uphill battle in Michigan. But there may be more of an appetite for legal sports betting in Michigan. The stronger opposition is more likely to come from forces outside the state, such as the four major professional sports leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL) and the NCAA, which would assuredly bring a federal court lawsuit--invoking PASPA--to block the implementation of any state-sanctioned sports betting scheme.

Regardless of whether this new measure is ultimately approved by the state legislature (and by Michigan voters), we are finally seeing aggressive action from statehouses on the issue of sports betting. The New Year is only 19 days old, and we already have three new bills to legalize sports betting, with more likely on the way soon. This will be a fascinating development to watch unfold, especially against the backdrop of New Jersey's efforts to overturn PASPA in court (the Supreme Court), the Donald Trump "wild card," and the American Gaming Association's ongoing lobbying efforts before Congress. 2017 is shaping up to be a dynamic year on the sports betting legalization front, with multiple points of entry and plenty of intrigue and drama.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017
The Latest CVSG Analytics for NJ Sports Betting (2016-17 Version)

The "death defying" New Jersey sports betting case--having secured the rare daily double of a rehearing en banc grant and a CVSG ("call for the views of the Solicitor General")--has proven to be the ultimate zombie of sports law cases: just when you think it's dead and buried, it is resurrected against improbable odds. But how much have those odds improved as a result of the Supreme Court's latest action calling for the views of the Solicitor General? A lot. The Solicitor General's recommendation carries "significant weight" with the Supreme Court, and, historically, it is followed around 80 percent of the time, according a 2009 George Mason Law Review article penned by now D.C. Circuit Court Judge Patricia A. Mallett. But that article is nearly eight years old, and the Court's composition has changed since then (e.g., Scalia, Kagan, Sotomayor), not to mention that there have been five different acting solicitor generals since 2009. Perhaps a more relevant--and less dated--statistical barometer of New Jersey's chances can be gleaned through an analysis of the more recent cases involving CVSGs. 

I decided to do some independent research. With the help of, and, of course, the indispensable SCOTUSBlog, I delved into the case histories of the 20 most recent cases (since the beginning of 2016) in which the Supreme Court acted on a cert petition following a Solicitor General response to a CVSG. (Note--there are 17 additional cases in which a CVSG has been issued during that time-period, but they cannot be meaningfully assessed since either the SG has yet to respond or the Supreme Court has not acted on the cert petition. Most involve CVSG's issued within the last three months). So review is limited to these 20 cases, admittedly a small (albeit, more recent) sample size.

And the results are surprising. Of the 20 most recent cases in which a CVSG has been issued and the SG filed a response brief (with action ultimately being taken), the Supreme Court followed the SG's recommendation one-hundred percent (100%) of the time. That's 20 out of 20 cases. Certiorari was granted in ten of those cases, and denied in the other ten. In other words, there has not been a single instance since the beginning of 2016 (covering 20 CVSG's) in which the Supreme Court has not followed the recommendation of the Solicitor General. Stated another way, Donald Trump could very well be deciding the future of New Jersey sports betting with his imminent solicitor general appointment. Maybe Chris Christie wants the job.

-- Daniel Wallach

Tuesday, January 17, 2017
The NJ Sports Betting "Invitational": My Quick Thoughts on Today's SCOTUS Order

For the case that has had nearly everything—e.g., three divided circuit opinions in succession and the rarity of en banc rehearing—we shouldn’t have been all that shocked by the latest twist and turn in the New Jersey sports betting case. The "invitation" to the Solicitor General can only be viewed as a positive for New Jersey's chances. After all, if this case were not “cert-worthy,” the Supreme Court would have just summarily denied the petition without even bothering to ask for the Solicitor General’s position. This “invitation” may very well signify that one or more of the Justices believe the Third Circuit went too far in Christie II. Contrary to popular belief, this case was never a ‘replay' of Christie I—the 'federalism' concerns raised in the later case are far more pronounced. In the Christie I case, New Jersey’s anti-commandeering argument was directed to PASPA’s 'negative command' forbidding states from licensing or authorizing sports wagering. That was always an uphill battle given the Supreme Court precedent limiting the anti-commandeering doctrine to cases where the federal government requires states to engage in some type of “affirmative activity,” such as taking title to radioactive waste or performing background checks on prospective handgun purchasers. But this time around, New Jersey’s commandeering argument addresses the flip-side of PASPA: its “affirmative requirement” compelling states to prohibit sports wagering (and thus blocking states from from "repealing" their sports betting laws). This view of PASPA fits more neatly into the Supreme Court’s anti-commandeering jurisprudence, and, as such, New Jersey’s prospects for Supreme Court review are arguably enhanced. For the first time, we had a federal appeals court preventing a state from “repealing” its own laws, after initially opining that a repeal would not violate PASPA. That represents a much greater encroachment on state sovereignty.

I think we may have actually underestimated Donald Trump’s impact on sports betting. Much of the recent speculation centered on how he could push for federal legislation, a process that could take up to several years to accomplish. But now, Donald Trump’s impact on the sports betting legalization debate will be immediate—and could be decisive. His choice of U.S. Solicitor General could end up tipping the scales in favor of a cert. grant, particularly if the new SG (whomever that may be) recommends that the issue be resolved by the Supreme Court. This is why the Solicitor General is often jokingly (and sometimes-not-so jokingly) referred to as the “Tenth Justice.” This is probably the most important brief that will be filed in the nearly five-year history of the New Jersey sports betting litigation. The Solicitor General’s brief will likely include a recommendation as to whether certiorari should be granted or denied, and, ultimately, who should win the case on the merits. If the  SG recommends that cert be granted, the odds for New Jersey improve considerably, especially if the SG also questions the constitutionality of PASPA or asserts that the New Jersey partial repealer does not violate the federal law. It is worth noting that nearly three years ago, then-Solicitor General Verrilli submitted a brief to the Supreme Court in which he asserted that New Jersey is free to repeal its sports betting laws “in whole or in part’ without violating PASPA. While the DOJ tried to wiggle out of this statement during the Third Circuit oral argument earlier this year, the Supreme Court’s invitation presents an opening for the new SG to ‘double-down’ on that prior statement by making it an unequivocal view. Trump will have the ability to name a solicitor general who espouses this view.  If Donald Trump feels strongly enough that sports betting should be legal and expanded nationally, he now has three immediate vehicles for accomplishing this: (1) his SG appointment; (2) his Attorney General appointment; and (3) his Supreme Court nominee. All three appointments could have significant ramifications for sports betting: the Solicitor General, in recommending that cert be granted; the Attorney General, in electing not to bring PASPA actions against state governments that legalize betting on sporting events not involving the five major sports leagues and the current plaintiffs in the case; and the new SCOTUS Justice, who could be one of the four ‘cert’ votes, thereby enhancing the prospects for review, and then ultimately siding with New Jersey on the merits. If Donald Trump is truly ‘dialed’ in on this issue, he might just have the ability to influence the sports betting legalization debate in ways that were not even contemplated until now.

Sunday, January 15, 2017
Decision Day on New Jersey Sports Betting: What Are The Chances?

On Tuesday at 9:30 am (EST), the United States Supreme Court will issue its "Orders List" announcing the fate of the various petitions which the Court considered at its weekly conference on Friday. (A link to the court website page containing the weekly orders can be found here). For proponents of New Jersey's years-long effort to legalize sports betting, Tuesday is the moment of truth, as the fate of the State's two petitions (one filed by Governor Christie and several other state officials, and the other filed by the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association) will likely become known, since those two were among the approximately 132(!) petitions that were on the slate for Friday's conference. If New Jersey's petitions are granted--and the odds are stacked heavily against it since the Supreme Court grants review in fewer than 2% of cases (although that number is skewed by the abundance of petitions filed by unrepresented parties, prisoners, and the vast array of litigants who truly have no shot at obtaining certiorari review)--it could be a key turning point in the ongoing debate to legalize sports betting. If review is granted, it would mean that four out of eight Justices (the ninth seat has been vacant since the death of Antonin Scalia) voted to hear the case since the Supreme Court usually follows the so-called "Rule of Four" in deciding whether to grant certiorari review. The case would then proceed to additional merits briefing (i.e., new briefs) plus an oral argument during the current Supreme Court term (which ends in June).

Despite the long odds, I believe that New Jersey has a much stronger chance at securing certiorari review than in 2014, when the Supreme Court declined to hear the Christie I case. The "cert-worthiness" of the New Jersey sports betting case actually has little to do with the policy arguments surrounding sports betting, and more to do with constitutional law principles. In both cases, New Jersey challenged the constitutionality of PASPA, arguing that it violates principles of federalism, and, in particular, the Tenth Amendment “anti-commandeering” doctrine, which forbids the federal government from commanding the states to implement federal laws or policies that would interfere with state sovereignty. In this vein, New Jersey argued that PASPA unconstitutionally commandeers the States in two ways: (1) through its “negative command” prohibiting a State from enacting any law authorizing or licensing sports betting, and (2) through its implicit “affirmative command” requiring a State to maintain existing (but unwanted) sports betting prohibitions under state law. 

Where the two cases differ is in how the commandeering argument was applied. In the Christie I case, New Jersey’s anti-commandeering argument was directed to PASPA’s “negative command” forbidding states from licensing or authorizing sports wagering. That was always an uphill battle given the Supreme Court precedent limiting the anti-commandeering doctrine to cases where the federal government requires states to engage in some type of “affirmative activity,” such as taking title to radioactive waste (as in the New York case) or performing background checks on prospective handgun purchasers (as in the Printz case). But this time around, New Jersey’s commandeering argument addresses the flip-side of PASPA: its “affirmative requirement” compelling states to prohibit sports wagering (which would prevent them from repealing their sports betting laws). This view of PASPA fits more neatly into the Supreme Court’s commandeering jurisprudence, and, as such, New Jersey’s prospects for Supreme Court review are arguably enhanced.

The Third Circuit's "bait and switch" on the availability of a "partial repeal" may also enhance the cert-worthiness of Christie II. In the Christie I case, the Third Circuit majority rejected New Jersey’s argument that “repealing” a statute barring sports betting would be equivalent to “authorizing” the activity (which would be barred by PASPA). The majority explained that it would be a “false equivalence” to consider a “repeal” to be the same as an “authoriz[ation] by law” because, following a repeal of prohibitions, “[t]he right to do that which is not prohibited derives not from the authority of the state but from the inherent rights of the people.” “In short,” the majority concluded, New Jersey’s attempt to read into PASPA a requirement that the states must “affirmatively keep a ban on sports gambling on their books” rests on a “false equivalence” between “repeal” and “authorized” and reads the term “by law” out of the federal statute, “ignoring the fundamental canon that, as between two statutory constructions, we ought to prefer one that does not raise a series of constitutional problems.”

But to save PASPA from any commandeering defect, the Christie I majority gave PASPA a “savings interpretation” that would afford states considerable leeway in crafting their own policy on sports betting, including by “repealing” any existing laws. The majority explained that PASPA’s “straightforward prohibition” on state-sponsored sports betting can be recast as providing states with “two choices” that “leave much room for states to make their own policy.” “On the one hand,” the majority declared, “a state may repeal its sports wagering ban, a move that will result in the expenditure of no resources or effort by any state official.” “On the other hand,” the majority continued, “a state may choose to keep a complete ban on sports wagering, but it is up to each state to decide how much of a law enforcement priority it wants to make of sports gambling, or what the exact contours of the prohibition will be.” (emphasis added). The majority acknowledged that “these are not easy choices,” noting that Congress “may have suspected that most states would choose to keep an actual prohibition on sports gambling on the books, rather than rather than permit the activity to go unregulated.” “But the fact that Congress gave the states a hard or tempting choice does not mean that they were given no choice at all, or that the choices are otherwise unconstitutional,” the majority reasoned.

Relying upon the Third Circuit’s majority opinion—which left it to a State to “decide how much of a law enforcement priority it wants to make of sports gambling, or what the exact contours of the prohibition will be”—and taking the Solicitor General at his word that a State may repeal its sports wagering ban “in part,” New Jersey enacted a partial repeal law on October 17, 2014 (the “2014 Law”). The 2014 Law partially repealed all state laws and regulations prohibiting sports wagering, but only in certain circumstances. Specifically, the 2014 Law repealed provisions of New Jersey law governing criminal penalties for gambling, civil penalties for gambling, and other provisions governing wagering at casinos and racetracks, as well as “any rules and regulations that may require or authorize any State agency to license, authorize, permit, or otherwise take action to allow any person” to engage in sports wagering. 

But in Christie II, the Third Circuit disavowed its prior declaration that a "repeal" of sports betting prohibitions would not violate PASPA. It rejected New Jersey’s argument—based on the “false equivalence” language in the Christie I opinion—that a “repeal” removing sports betting prohibitions is not an “affirmative authorization.” Recall that in Christie I, the majority explained that states had two choices under PASPA: maintaining sports betting prohibitions or repealing them. The Christie II majority receded from that earlier statement, declaring that “[t]o the extent that in Christie I we took the position that a repeal cannot constitute an authorization, we now reject that reasoning." The majority characterized its discussion in Christie I of states having “two choices” as mere “dicta” (meaning not essential to the court’s decision).

The Christie II majority's about-face on the availability of a "partial repeal"--and its refusal to pinpoint the line of demarcation at which a permissible partial repeal becomes an impermissible "authorization"--heightens the State's chances for securing certiorari review in my view. As highlighted by the New Jersey petitions (and the amicus briefs), the Third Circuit's new interpretation of PASPA presents a much greater threat to state sovereignty (a key federalism notion) than the Christie I decision because it can be seen as preventing a state from repealing its own laws (with myriad examples highlighted in the State's petitions), and, further, leaves the state without any meaningful (or identifiable) choices. Remember that to "save" PASPA from a commandeering defect, the Christie I majority emphasized that states were afforded a "choice" under PASPA: to maintain their state law prohibitions against sports betting or to repeal them. The Christie II decision all but eviscerates this choice.

The dissenting opinion of Judge Thomas Vanaskie highlights this "flip-flop" by the Third Circuit majority. Judge Vanaskie criticized as “untenable” the majority’s “shifting line approach” to a state’s exercise of its sovereign authority. Judge Vanaskie observed that after Christie I, a state like New Jersey “at least [had] the choice” of either: (1) “repealing, in whole or in part, existing bans on gambling on sporting events,” or (2) “keep[ing] a complete ban on sports gambling.” Such a choice, he explained, was essential to upholding PASPA’s constitutionality in Christie I. By contrast, he wrote, the majority’s decision in Christie II “does not leave a state ‘much room’ at all.” Following Christie II, states “must maintain an anti-sports wagering scheme” by “leav[ing] gambling prohibitions on the books to regulate their citizens.” Judge Vanaskie opined that this essentially “leaves the States with no choice,” adding that “[t]he anti-commandeering doctrine, essential to protect State sovereignty, prohibits Congress from compelling States to prohibit such private activity.”

Judge Vanaskie was also unpersuaded by the majority’s assertion that some partial repeal options “may pass muster” (such as the example involving small wagers between friends and family), noting that the majority “does not explain why all partial repeals are not created equal or explain what distinguishes the 2014 Law from those partial repeals that pass muster.” As Judge Vanaskie explained, “[t]he bedrock principle of federalism that Congress may not compel the States to require or prohibit certain activities cannot be evaded by the false assertion that PASPA affords the States some undefined options when it comes to sports wagering.” Contending that the majority opinion “excised” the distinction between a “repeal” and an “authorization,” Judge Vanaskie declared that it is “clear” that no repeal of any kind will evade PASPA’s command that no State “shall . . . authorize by law sports gambling.” Such commands, Judge Vanaskie concluded, “are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty.”

Judge Vanaskie's dissenting opinion--and the petitions filed by the New Jersey parties (backed by amicus briefs filed by five states, two conservative think-tanks, the America Gaming Association, and Sports Law Blog contributor Professor Ryan Rodenberg)--highlight the key federalism concerns at the core of Christie II. As the recent filings point out, the Third Circuit's "shifting line" approach to state repeal laws in Christie II presents a much greater threat to state sovereignty (in potentially a wide array of policy-making initiatives going beyond sports betting) than Christie I ever did. Will this be enough to push Christie II over the SCOTUS "cert-worthy" line? Tune in on Tuesday to find out.

Thursday, January 12, 2017
The Battle of New York (DFS) is Back On!

The recent enactment of New York's Interactive Fantasy Sports Law supposedly settled the long-simmering debate over the legality of daily fantasy sports ("DFS") in New York. But a new lawsuit could potentially reignite that debate. In October, a quartet of New York residents--backed by the anti-gambling group aptly named "Stop Predatory Gambling"--filed a lawsuit in Albany County Supreme Court challenging the New York DFS Law on constitutional grounds. The thrust of the lawsuit is that the New York Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo impermissibly expanded gambling in New York in violation of Article I, Section 9 of the New York State Constitution. In short, Article I, Section 9 prohibits all forms of gambling unless specifically exempted through a constitutional amendment. It reflects New York's longstanding (but apparently elastic) public policy against gambling. In order to amend the New York Constitution to allow any new form of gambling, two successive sessions of state legislative approval are required, followed by a voter referendum. In short, the plaintiffs asserted that the Legislature exceeded its powers in passing the DFS law without a voter referendum, which is a time-consuming process that would take at least two years to accomplish. The lawsuit seeks to invalidate the new DFS law on that basis, and thereby force the issue to a voter referendum. The downside risk to the fantasy sports industry is that if the plaintiffs prevail (and there is a decent chance that they will), it could shelve fantasy sports in New York until at least 2019, if not longer.

Although filed in October to great fanfare (and a press conference by the lawyers!), the lawsuit had been dormant for the past three months while the New York Attorney General's Office (which ironically is defending the state here) requested and received several extensions of time to respond to the complaint. On January 11th, the AG's Office finally responded by filing a motion to dismiss the complaint. (A copy of the memorandum of law can be found here). A hearing on the motion is scheduled for March 24th in Albany. The plaintiffs will likely file a detailed response to the motion before the end of February, and, quite possibly, could also move for summary judgment since purely legal issues are involved that would probably not require any significant fact-finding.

The crux of the AG's motion is that the Legislature enjoys considerable discretion to determine what is--and what is not--"gambling" in New York. The AG's motion asserts that the New York Legislature has "latitude to determine what conduct constitutes (and does not constitute) impermissible gambling in New York," and that such determination "is ultimately a policy choice that lies within the province of the Legislature to address." I believe that this argument might be flawed. While the Legislature can certainly enact “appropriate laws” in furtherance of the constitutional prohibition against gambling as a valid exercise of its police power, see Harris v. Econ. Opportunity Comm’n of Nassau Cty., 171 A.D.2d 223, 227, 575 N.Y.S.2d 672, 674-75 (2d Dep’t 1991), holding modified by Dalton v. Pataki, 11 A.D.2d 62, 780 N.Y.S.2d 47 (2d Dep’t 2004), it is another thing entirely to legalize a game or contest that has been determined by New York’s highest-ranking law enforcement official (and preliminary by one lower court) to constitute illegal gambling under New York’s Penal Law,  thereby expanding legal gambling in New York State without a constitutional amendment. In other words, while the Legislature can certainly expand the definition of “gambling” to bring a game, device or contest within the statutory prohibition, that does not, a fortiori, mean that the legislature is also free to expand legal gambling outside of the mandatory constitutional amendment process.

In my opinion, the entire lawsuit rises or falls on this argument. If the Attorney General is wrong (and I believe that he may be), it could shelve fantasy sports in New York for at least two years while the constitutional referendum process plays out. Were that scenario to play out in this fashion, legislators (and DFS lobbyists) might ultimately come to regret choosing the most expedient, albeit risky, path to legalization over fidelity and adherence to the state constitution.

The most surprising aspect of the AG Office's motion, however, was its abject failure to explain (or even address) any of the AG's prior statements--advanced in court papers before Justice Mendez--that daily fantasy sports contests constituted impermissible gambling in violation of New York Penal Law Section 225.00 and Article I of the New York State Constitution. Think about it. The same AG who forcefully argued that DFS is illegal gambling under the state constitution is now advancing the diametrically opposite position that such contests do not run afoul of the constitution. That is a tricky balancing act. At the very least, the AG should have addressed his prior statements and explained why they do not apply anymore. His failure to tackle this issue leaves him (and the industry) exposed on the plaintiff's reply beef. Expect  the plaintiffs' lawyer to exploit this omission in his opposition papers filed later next month. Having the AG--who once took the position that DFS is "gambling'--act as the "defender" of the new DFS law presents a troubling optic for the industry, and, potentially, for the court. For this reason, I would have expected DraftKings and FanDuel (the real parties in interest) to intervene in the lawsuit and present their own arguments unencumbered by any prior inconsistent statements. To date, however, the two companies have not filed a motion to intervene, leaving the fate of New York's fantasy sports law in the conflicted hands of the New York Attorney General. From the plaintiffs' perspective, this may be the best possible scenario.

This lawsuit will likely play out over several years, and could ultimately be decided by New York's highest court--the New York Court of Appeal. But at first blush, it would appear that the plaintiffs have a strong case based on the arguments advanced (or not advanced) by the New York Attorney General. A decision on the AG's motion to dismiss--and potentially on the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment (if one is filed)--is expected by the late Spring, several weeks after the March 24th oral argument. Regardless of who prevails in the lower court, expect an immediate appeal. While this case may have been dormant for several months, it will become active throughout 2017 and could dictate the future of fantasy sports in New York, By no means is it a slam dunk for the State.

If you would like a deeper dive on these issues, I previewed the lawsuit here back in June, several months before it was actually filed.

What's New in Sports Law for 2017

Happy New Year, friends.

2016 was an exciting year in sports law.  We saw the Supreme Court reject cert in O'Bannon v. NCAA, more legal posturing over the NFL discipline rules, new collective bargaining agreements in MLB and the NBA, and law school graduate, Theo Epstein, lead the Chicago Cubs to a World Series championship.

2017 figures to be just as exciting.  Over at FORBES, I have posted two articles that may help us to think about the sports law issues that lie ahead in 2017.
First, here is  my discussion of what I consider to be the top 5 sports law stories to watch in 2017.
 Also, for readers who are particularly interested in fantasy sports law issues, here is my top 5 stories to watch, particularly on fantasy sports and the law.
May the new year bring health and happiness to you, your families, and the entire sports law community.