A ruling of a federal judge was published on Thursday night has upheld the twenty-one year old law that prevents all forms of sports betting in the United Stated but for 4 states. The ruling presented a major setback for the state of New Jersey in its attempts to resurrect the struggling casino industry in the state, by trying to be a part of what has become a successful a multi-billion-dollar industry.
This ruling also marks the 2nd defeat for New Jersey in lawsuits that were filed in 2012. These lawsuits were filed by the NCAA and 4 of the major sports leagues for professional sports. In last December Michael Shipp, the U.S. District Judge denied the claim of the state that the NCAA and the four leagues did not have the right to file such lawsuits. The state claimed that they could not demonstrate tangible harm to their products if the state were to legalize sports wagering.
The governor of the state, Chris Christie, commented on the matter on Friday through a statement, he stated that they are firmly standing by their principles concerning sports wagering and that the ban by the federal government is unfair and that it violates the rights of the state of New Jersey as well as being unconstitutional. He added that the judge in the trial noted that most likely, he will not be the last arbitrator on that matter. He then finished the statement by saying that the state believes that the federal court of appeals will rule that the state of New Jersey has the right to be treated like other states.
State Senator Ray Lesniak, being the major sponsor of the sports wagering bill, had something to say on the matter as well. He stated that the state of New Jersey would appeal the misinterpretation of the constitution by the judge. He also added that the ruling came as a shock and as a great disappointment for everyone who is supporting New Jersey’s right to legalize sports wagering. Senator Lesniak said that besides internet gambling, sports wagering would enable the state of New Jersey to be in the forefront of the gaming industry. This would also bring great benefits to the state as it will bring more job opportunities and will provide the state with long term and immediate economic benefits.