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Sports Betting in New Jersey

New Jersey, just like Nevada, has long been one of the most liberal states when it comes to gambling legislation. From having a number of luxury land-based casino resorts to offering online games through platforms like the Betfaircasino.com, the Garden state almost has it all but one last piece of the gambling puzzle – sports betting. When it comes to sports betting, New Jersey has been struggling to get its legislation approved by the U.S. Supreme Court ever since 2014. So far, several appeals have been filled with the court, but no progress has been made in what was to be a defining case for the future of sports betting in the US. To learn the full story, keep reading for a short insight into NJ’s sports betting legislation history.

The Current Stance

New Jersey had passed its first law legalizing sports betting within the state back in 2014, but it hasn’t been put in effect due to legal obstacles. The last appeal was denied by the US Supreme Court during summer 2016, after which the state filled a new appeal request. The date for when the court planned to decide whether to hear another appeal from the state was set to January 17, 2017. But instead of reaching a decision, the court recently announced that they would wait to hear the U.S. Solicitor General’s opinion on the issue. Thus, for now, the faith of the case lies within a brief from the Solicitor General, which experts agree is better than the slim chances of having the appeal accepted by the Court. In fact, considering the recent changes on the US political scene, some say that NJ might just get lucky.

The Main Opposition

The main opposition in this legal battle is a group of the four major sport leagues – the NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB, along with the NCAA, whom the federal government currently sides with. The leagues are calling upon the PASPA act (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) of 1992, which makes state sponsoring or operating of any betting scheme that relies on amateur and professional sports illegal. Upon calling on this act in 2014, the then presiding U.S. District Judge, Michael Shipp, issued a temporary order to restrain the state of NJ, based on provided evidence by the leagues that the legislation will directly hurt them. The decision also stated that the leagues’ lawsuit to permanently disable the state from legalizing sport betting was to proceed.

What the Future Holds?

With the future of the legislation now being passed to the U.S. Solicitor General, the state of New Jersey is nurturing new hopes. Namely, there is a new Solicitor General to be named under President Trump, which the state hopes will be one with a different stance than the previous administration. The main argument of the state is that the PASPA is unconstitutional, since it allows for the federal government to overthrow state rights. The act also allows Nevada to keep holding a monopoly over sports betting in the US, which other stats are not allowed to challenge. But whether this stance will be seen as justifiable grounds for overthrowing the obstacles remains to be seen.