A federal appeals court heard arguments in a case dealing with the potential legalization of sports betting in New Jersey.
In 2014, New Jersey passed a law that allows for sports wagering in the Garden State. The law specifically repealed a previous prohibition against sports bets being placed at NJ casinos and racetracks. However, just as the new law was about to go into effect, the NCAA and several professional sports leagues filed suit and got an injunction to prevent casinos from opening up sportsbooks in New Jersey.
Now the case is being considered by federal appeals judges seated in Philadelphia. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit agreed to re-hear New Jersey’s appeal of a previous ruling that sided with the sports leagues.
During the hearing, one of the judges asked the lawyer for New Jersey about the nature of the law. Judge Kent Gordon questioned whether the state law actually violates federal law by “authorizing” sports betting in NJ rather than merely implementing a partial repeal of the state’s previous prohibition against sports wagers. In fact, that was one of the main arguments raised by the collegiate and pro sports leagues, with the league’s legal representatives arguing that the NJ strategy for circumventing the prohibitions was actually the same as authorizing sports gambling in particular locations.
Although Congress has banned sports betting in all but four states, New Jersey is attempting to get around the ban on a state level. A major reason for the NJ State Legislature’s push to legalize sports betting is the need for an influx of cash into the state’s struggling economy.
Depending on the outcome of the NJ case, other states could potentially be free to legalize sports betting within their own state borders.
For more information on the NJ sports betting case, view the Yahoo.com article, “New Jersey Takes Sports Betting Argument to Full Appeals Court.”
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