District Judge delays decision over New Jersey sports betting

District Judge delays decision over New Jersey sports betting

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 Totally Gaming

A US District Judge has delayed a decision over whether to allow New Jersey to offer legal sports betting services to consumers located inside the US state. 

Judge Michael Shipp, who had been due to give his opinion on the case yesterday (Monday), opted to delay the process in order to allow both sides to file additional briefs.

The Associated Press agency reports that Shipp will instead hear oral arguments on October 31 before passing judgment on whether his existing 2013 order permits the state to offer sports betting as long as it is not regulated by New Jersey.

The delay comes after North America’s four major sports leagues and the National Collegiate Association (NCAA) last month challenged the latest attempt to allow sports betting in the state.

Earlier in September, Governor Chris Christie issued a directive to allow casinos and racetracks in the state to offer sports wagering as long as the bets are placed on event taking place outside of New Jersey.

In a court filing, the leagues branded the directive as “astounding” and a “blatant violation” of an earlier court order by Judge Shipp.

New Jersey Legislature passed a sports betting law signed by Christie in 2012 after voters backed sports betting in a non-binding referendum the previous year.

However, two years ago, American football’s NFL, basketball’s NBA, ice hockey’s NHL, baseball’s MLB and the NCAA sued Christie, citing the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which bans sports gambling in all but four US states.

In last month's court filing, the leagues said the law passed by New Jersey’s Legislature explicitly views sports gambling as being a state-regulated industry, which would violate the Act.

Speaking to TotallyGaming.com earlier this week about the situation in the state, William J. Pascrell, III, Esq., a lobbyist with the Princeton Public Affairs Group, said that sports betting in New Jersey is “inevitable” despite opposition from the leagues.

“New Jersey's campaign to allow sports betting has been hard fought,” he told TotallyGaming.com.

“The professional leagues continue fighting hard because they ultimately want to control the revenues derived from sports wagering. This is the last stand for the sports leagues.

“With NBA commissioner Adam Silver's recent statement that he believes expanded sports betting is inevitable and that the NBA is open to it, I expect they will soon throw in the towel.”

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