NJ Battles for Right to Allow Gambling on Sports Matches

After holding a referendum in 2011, Governor Chris Christie obtained the approval he needed for signing a law that allows New Jersey’s Atlantic City casinos to accept wagers placed for college and professional sports matches. However, in February 2012, the enactment of the bill led to lawsuits filed by the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) together with four major professional sports league, against the State of New Jersey. The presiding NJ federal judge ruled twice in favor of the sports organizations, by upholding the federal law that bans sports betting outside of Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon.

Last Wednesday, New Jersey made good on its promise to carry on with its legal battle to legalize gambling via sports betting in the state’s jurisdiction. A brief has been filed with the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, containing arguments that assert New Jersey’s rights as a state, to legalize and regulate a form of gambling that is already taking place in NJ; albeit illegally, in unregulated sportsbooks.

The brief further contains a rebuttal that the leagues have not submitted proofs to support their contention that the legalization of sports betting in NJ, will pose as threat to the integrity of athletic competitions and to the well-being of student-athletes.

Although the case is yet to be reviewed and heard by a panel of judges in the coming months ahead,  Governor Christie vows to elevate the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court, in the event that the circuit court judges will likewise not rule in favor of the state.