New twist in New Jersey sports betting saga as judge issues order

New twist in New Jersey sports betting saga as judge issues order

Monday, October 27, 2014

The convoluted process to introduce sports betting in New Jersey has taken another twist after a federal judge issued a temporary order blocking the US state from offering gambling on American football’s NFL yesterday (Sunday).

Monmouth Park Racetrack was set to be the first facility to offer legal sports betting in the state on Sunday after Governor Chris Christie had earlier signed off on a plan to allow the practice at racetracks and casinos as long as wagers could not be placed on events in the state.

However, Judge Michael Shipp agreed with the complainants – the major leagues of baseball (MLB), basketball (NBA) and ice hockey (NHL) as well as the NFL and the National Collegiate Athletic Association – that allowing limited betting could cause their games to be “irreparably harmed”.

Shipp said: “More legal gambling leads to more total gambling, which in turns leads to an increased incentive to fix plaintiffs’ matches.”

He added that allowing New Jersey to follow Nevada “would engender the same ills” that the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act tried to fight.

Shipp, who also ruled in favour of the leagues in 2011, said that the order was necessary to ensure the issue is argued fully in court.

A spokesperson for Christie said that the state continues to have “full confidence” in its position, and the main case is set to be settled next month.

Last week the state rubbished the attempted injunction as “unsubstantiated”. Earlier this month, William J. Pascrell, III, Esq., a lobbyist with the Princeton Public Affairs Group, told TotallyGaming.com that sports betting in New Jersey is “inevitable” despite the legal challenges.

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