Matthew Dziok


In 2018, the United States Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which prohibited states from authorizing sports gambling schemes. The Court in Murphy v. NCAA struck down PASPA on constitutional grounds, holding that the Act violated the anticommandeering doctrine of the Tenth Amendment. Before the Murphy decision, because of a grandfather provision in PASPA, Nevada was essentially the only state where it was legal to place a bet on a sporting event. Not surprisingly, after PASPA was struck down, numerous states have legalized sports gambling.

Perhaps one of the most important decisions state lawmakers face when crafting state-sponsored sports gambling legislation is whether to permit gambling on college sports. Specifically, states must choose between limiting college sports gambling, and losing significant revenue, or authorizing college sports gambling while potentially exposing athletes, teams, and universities to an increased risk of corruption and problem gambling on college campuses. This Note will argue that state laws that continue to completely prohibit gambling on college sports will force consumers to seek alternatives in the illegal gambling market, thus neutralizing attempts to protect the integrity of college sports. It will also argue that state laws allowing college sports gambling without restrictions enhance risks to the integrity of college sports. Ultimately, this Note will argue that the “middle-ground” approach already taken by multiple states, which permits gambling on college sports with some important limitations, is correct. It will urge other states that have not legalized sports gambling to adopt this approach while also providing a legislative roadmap for doing so.