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Sports Then and Now

When Will Sports Betting Be Legal in New Jersey?

Posted on February 11, 2017 by Tore Johannessen

NCAA Tourney Draws Fans To Las Vegas Gambling HouseOn US territory, there is a specific group of states which are allowed to license sports betting, starting off with Nevada – which has the full legal package. Additionally, Montana, Delaware and Oregon also allow sports betting to a certain degree. But when it comes to New Jersey, the matter has reached a status of one of the most controversial legal cases in the country.

Back in 1992, the major professional sports leagues went to Congress trying to lobby for the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, commonly known as PASPA. This act bars all states which haven’t legalized sports betting (at the time, Nevada was the only exception, with the other three states to a limited extent) from doing so. Once the PASPA had been passed, Nevada was left to gloat in its dominance.

However, in 2012, New Jersey could no longer endure the slow failure of Atlantic City’s casinos, demanding legalization of sports betting on its territory. Their primary claim was that the PASPA is against the constitution, but once they filed this to the government officials, federal judges proclaimed it as completely lawful.

Nonetheless, this didn’t stop New Jersey from persevering in their fight against the sports betting ban which had been imposed on them. Thus, they declared that they didn’t want to make all bans void, simply the ones related to them.

Another court battle ensued two years later. Once New Jersey was allowed to provide sports betting services in their casinos and racetracks, the sports leagues were quick to follow up with a lawsuit.

Nowadays, there is still as much fuzz as there was back then, with the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals mainly ruling out in favor of the professional sports leagues. With no choice left, the New Jersey lawmakers filed their case in the US Supreme Court. Hoping to add sports betting operators to the NJ online casino list, they’re building up a final case.

Although it might seem selfish, NJ claims that they are losing large amounts of money as their citizens are turning to offshore online betting sites which allow a safe refuge to all sports lovers who wish to test their powers of making predictions.

Some lawyers predict that the legislation changes can solely take place if Congress repeals PASPA. However, there is little likelihood that such a thing could happen, as all pro sports leagues would have to be on board with the decision. And by the looks of things, that’s not happening.

New Jersey’s latest advance came when they turned to the US Supreme Court. Some consider its decision to wait for the new U.S. solicitor general to speak on behalf of the federal government. Recent presidential elections have placed Donald Trump as new Chief of State, who gets to pick the next solicitor general. Opinions are divided, as some hope the Republican’s past casino history will support NJ’s claim, while others are less optimistic. All in all, it’s bound to get even more tense before a final resolution can be passed.

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