4 Flush – There are reports that Las Vegas is number two on a list of potential NHL expansion cities behind Seattle. Las Vegas is the largest city in the U.S. that does not have any professional sports teams. There are two reasons for this. The population in Las Vegas could not support a sports team until the last 5-10 years. Sports leagues have also been reluctant to entertain the idea of a Las Vegas team due to legalized sports betting.
The major sports leagues have shunned Las Vegas due to its legalized sports betting. The leagues are so against the expansion of sports betting that it successfully challenged a New Jersey law that would have allowed Atlantic City casinos and New Jersey off track betting parlors to offer betting on professional and amateur sports. The lower court rulings can only be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, which has yet to hear the case.
The sports leagues argued that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection act does not allow New Jersey to regulate sports betting because the state is not exempted under the law, one that was sponsored by a New Jersey U.S. Senator and passed in 1992.
The leagues also successfully defeated an attempt in Delaware to legalize straight sports betting, even though the state is exempted under the law. The courts ruled that Delaware could only offer NFL parlay cards, the same type of wagering it spread in the past. The courts found that Delaware was not exempted for other types of sports betting.