Justices to review New Jersey bid for legal sports betting

Frederick Owens
June 27, 2017

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to hear arguments on whether sports betting should be legalized in New Jersey.

Under Gov. Chris Christie, New Jersey passed its sports wagering act in 2012, but the law was soon after struck down by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Brandt added that every major sports league is fighting against making sports betting legal in the state.

PASPA restricts legal sports betting to a handful of states, with only Nevada being able to offer a full menu.

"Fort Lauderdale, Fla. -based sports law attorney Daniel Wallach said he expected the Court to clarify its stance on Tuesday, adding that roughly half of the cases that reached this stage a year ago were taken up by the Court or were vacated and remanded to the lower court".

The justices, as is custom, gave no reason for agreeing to hear the appeal of a court decision that threw out the state's latest effort to bring sports betting to its casinos and race tracks.

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One of the cert petitions argues that the federal law amounts to a "federal takeover of New Jersey's legislative apparatus" that is "dramatic, unprecedented, and in direct conflict with this court's 10th Amendment jurisprudence barring Congress from controlling how the states regulate private parties". Though the USA professional sports leagues have opposed New Jersey in court, a number of them have shown an evolution of thought on sports gambling. An NHL expansion franchise in Las Vegas, the Golden Knights, will begin play this fall.

Opposition to the ban has softened in recent years. Nevada is now the only state where single-game wagering is legal.

Legal sports gambling is allowed in Nevada and three other states that already had approved some form of wagering before the federal law went into effect.

The case has lasted almost as long as Christie has been in office.

In 2014, the Supreme Court rejected New Jersey's earlier challenge to the federal law.

According to the Associated Press, more than $150 billion is illegally wagered on sports annually.

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