Pue­blo, lot­tery board wrong on sports bet­ting

Bet­ting ac­tiv­ity not cur­rently al­lowed by New Mex­ico law

Albuquerque Journal - - OP-ED - BY DR. GUY C. CLARK CHAIR­MAN, STOP PREDA­TORY GAM­BLING N.M.

The Santa Ana Pue­blo opened a sports bet­ting par­lor on Oct. 16, then the state lot­tery board voted unan­i­mously to of­fer a sports bet­ting lot­tery game. The Santa Ana op­er­a­tion is in vi­o­la­tion of fed­eral law, and the lot­tery would vi­o­late state law.

The man­age­ment at the Santa Ana op­er­a­tion has ap­par­ently not read the In­dian Gam­ing Reg­u­la­tory Act (IGRA) of 1988, the foun­da­tion of all tribal gam­bling or wants to ig­nore it. IGRA Sec­tion 2710 (d)(1)reads, “Class III gam­ing ac­tiv­i­ties shall be law­ful on In­dian lands only if such ac­tiv­i­ties are (B) lo­cated in a State that per­mits such gam­ing for any pur­pose by any per­son, or­ga­ni­za­tion, or en­tity . ... ” New Mex­ico has not le­gal­ized sports bet­ting, dis­tinc­tively dif­fer­ent from le­gal­ized gam­bling ac­tiv­i­ties al­ready in our state, there­fore Santa Ana Pue­blo is vi­o­lat­ing fed­eral law in open­ing its sports bet­ting op­er­a­tion.

The lot­tery board is sug­gest­ing since the U.S. Supreme Court over­turned the Pro­fes­sional and Ama­teur Sports Pro­tec­tion Act (PASPA) in the suit ini­ti­ated by the NCAA against the state of New Jer­sey, the court waved a magic wand and made sports bet­ting le­gal through­out the U.S. No such thing hap­pened. The court ba­si­cally ruled the fed­eral gov­ern­ment does not have the author­ity to de­ter­mine state law re­gard­ing sports bet­ting but the states are re­spon­si­ble for de­cid­ing whether or not to le­gal­ize it. Sports bet­ting has not been le­gal­ized in New Mex­ico, which makes a lot­tery game fea­tur­ing it il­le­gal un­der state law.

Other tribes are work­ing with their state agen­cies to al­low tribal sports bet­ting. The Mis­sis­sippi band of Choctaw In­di­ans just re­cently be­gan sports bet­ting op­er­a­tions since their 1994 com­pact specif­i­cally al­lows tribal “sports pools” if the state le­gal­izes it off-reser­va­tion. Their Mis­sis­sippi gam­ing con­trol act was amended in 2017 to al­low off-reser­va­tion sports gam­bling, au­to­mat­i­cally al­low­ing the tribe to legally fol­low suit. Ok­la­homa has a bill work­ing through the leg­is­la­ture that could ap­prove tribal sports bet­ting . ... A hand­ful of other states, in­clud­ing Cal­i­for­nia and Con­necti­cut, have tribes en­cour­ag­ing leg­is­la­tion le­gal­iz­ing tribal sports gam­bling, but none ... have at­tempted a fait ac­com­pli, spring­ing it on the pub­lic with­out proper co­or­di­na­tion with their state . ...

A num­ber of states, in­clud­ing Ne­vada, New Jer­sey and Mis­sis­sippi, have com­mer­cial sports bet­ting par­lors . ... Sev­eral other states, in­clud­ing New York, Penn­syl­va­nia and Rhode Is­land, have passed leg­is­la­tion le­gal­iz­ing sports bet­ting but have not be­gun op­er­a­tion. Over a dozen other states have pend­ing sports gam­bling leg­is­la­tion. But all ... have fol­lowed con­sti­tu­tional or leg­isla­tive pro­cesses to ob­tain per­mis­sion from their states to op­er­ate sports bet­ting, ad­her­ing to the Supreme Court de­ci­sion.

Ap­par­ently Santa Ana Pue­blo and the lot­tery board think they are op­er­at­ing in a Third-World coun­try and can ig­nore state and con­sti­tu­tional and statu­tory re­quire­ments for in­tro­duc­ing a new form of gam­bling. They are the only ones in the U.S. to act in such a brazen, un­law­ful man­ner.

Canada, Aus­tralia and Bri­tain have been flooded with on­line sports bet­ting, and the news­pa­pers are full of ar­ti­cles about the spec­tac­u­lar dam­age done to teens and young adults by the per­va­sive ad­ver­tis­ing and re­sult­ing ad­dic­tion to sports bet­ting. We have way too much gam­bling ad­dic­tion in New Mex­ico al­ready. The Leg­is­la­ture should re­sist any ef­fort to le­gal­ize it in fu­ture leg­isla­tive ses­sions.

Stop Preda­tory Gam­bling New Mex­ico calls on At­tor­ney Gen­eral Hec­tor Balderas to take Santa Ana to fed­eral Dis­trict Court to get a cease-and-de­sist or­der against the tribal sports bet­ting, and to let the lot­tery board know it would be vi­o­lat­ing state law if it at­tempts to op­er­ate a sports bet­ting lot­tery game and would be pros­e­cuted.

The state needs to get out of the preda­tory gam­bling racket.

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