New Jersey Sportsbetting Proponents Appeal to the State Supreme Court

September 26, 2013

New Jersey state took action to challenge the federal government’s ban on sportsbetting, only to be rejected by a federal appeals court when the issue came up for review this month. New Jersey argues that the restrictions on sports gambling put forth by the Professional Amateur sports Protection Act of 1992 is unconstitutional and violates the state’s sovereignty rights.

But Jersey lawmakers are still hopeful. The attorney who led the campaign to reform the sports betting laws in Jersey, a partner from the Princeton Public Affairs Group Inc. based out of Trenton, New Jersey, Bill Pascrell, says, “We had a mission to pass Internet gaming, exchange wagering and sports betting…I’m very excited … about what New Jersey represents in this space. With the issue of sports betting, it’s not a question of if, but when.”

Pascrell explained that the bill was approved two years ago by 67% of voters. Furthermore, in the NJ Legislature overwhelmingly passed an enabling law shortly thereafter.

According to Pascrell, the NFL went to court to block the NJ sportsbetting law and succeeded. However, Pascrell believes that the US Supreme Court will ultimately rule in favor of the state. He is ready though for a fight, as he says, “I know I’m in the minority; expect … some very smart attorneys.”

In addition to the NFL, the NBA, the MLB, NHL, and the NCAA, all agree that any law that enables sportsbetting essentially undermines the integrity of pro sports. However, many believe that New Jersey has what it takes to regulate gambling in any aspect, since the state has passed regulated online poker legislature.


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