New Jersey sports betting ‘inevitable’ despite challenges – expert

New Jersey sports betting ‘inevitable’ despite challenges – expert

Monday, October 6, 2014 Totally Gaming

Sports betting in the US state of New Jersey is “inevitable” despite opposition from major league sports, according to William J. Pascrell, III, Esq., a lobbyist with the Princeton Public Affairs Group.

Last month, North America’s four major sports leagues and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) challenged the latest attempt to allow sports betting in New Jersey.

Earlier in September, Governor Chris Christie issued a directive that would allow casinos and racetracks to offer sports wagering as long as the bets are placed on events that take place outside the state.

In their court filing, the leagues described the directive as “astounding” and a “blatant violation” of an earlier court order.

However, Pascrell, who ran the successful referendum campaign to amend the state constitution to permit sports wagering in New Jersey in 2011, believes it is a matter of “when” and not “if” sports betting is introduced in New Jersey.

“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.

“The leagues are well aware that a gentlemen's bet or small wagers placed on their games make fans more engaged in their sports events.  

“The court is due to rule soon. Although this stepped-up effort by New Jersey is by no means a legal slam dunk, as each day passes the inevitable becomes that much closer. New Jersey sports betting is not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’.”

New Jersey Legislature passed a sports betting law that was signed by Christie in 2012 after voters endorsed sports wagering in the non-binding referendum in 2011.

However, just over 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 states in the US.

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

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