New Jersey Still Gambling On Online Sports Betting

Published Monday, January 06, 2014 -
New Jersey Still Gambling On Online Sports Betting

New Jersey has recently legalized online gambling in the Garden State but there is trouble in gambling paradise. The legal hurdle that New Jersey faces in Federal court regarding the offering of online sports betting is still to be overcome.

The state has spent an estimated $2.3 million with more to come on the legal eagles who are trying to convince judges that New Jersey has the constitutional right to offer betting on sporting events.

The considerable gain from the effort to legalize is apparent with estimates in the range of $1.3 billion a year in job-generating income for the state’s struggling casinos and horse racing venues with as much as $100 million going to the state treasury in the form of taxes.

Governor Chris Christie and his administration are contesting the existing 1992 law, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), and how it limits legalized sports betting to only four states. The main opponents are the large and powers sports organizations including the NCAA who insist that state-sponsored sports betting would “irreparably” harm their games by degrading the integrity of the sports.

At the present time it appears that New Jersey’s effort to overturn the 1992 law is a real long shot. Especially sine at the time the law was introduced the State had an opportunity to be part of the group who got approval to offer sports betting but turned it down. Unfortunately in New Jersey, the U.S. District Court decided that Congress did indeed have the power to rule on the constitutionality of the issue. A panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling by a 2-1 vote last September, and the full Third Circuit declined to rehear the case.

Now the state attorney general’s office must take its chances with the Supreme Court and an amendment by Congress. The political challenges are formidable and the stakes are high and the outcome remains to be seen.

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