Sports betting boost in major US states

Sports betting boost in major US states

Monday, October 19, 2015 Totally Gaming
Nick Kotik is an advocate of legalising and regulating gambling in Pennsylvania

Sports betting is back on the agenda in two US states with a combined population of more than 20 million after legal and legislative developments.

New Jersey has been given the green light to appeal a court decision to prevent the state from launching legalised sports betting earlier this year, while an influential Pennsylvania state representative has introduced new draft legislation that would allow such wagering in licensed casinos.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a bill that would have legalised sports betting in January 2012, but progress has been halted by a series of court victories by opponents, including major sports leagues such as the NFL American football league and NBA basketball. 

Now, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, in a step described as “rare” by legal experts, has announced that the majority of active judges have ‘vacated’ August’s 2-1 ruling against the state, which means a rehearing will be scheduled. Under New Jersey’s plans, casino and racetracks in the state would be able to offer wagering on various sports games, and supporter Raymond Lesniak, a New Jersey Senator, is confident of success. 

“Chances are, they wouldn't have vacated the ruling if they were only going to later on confirm it,” Lesniak told the ESPN television network.

Meanwhile, Nick Kotik, Democratic chairman of Pennsylvania’s House Gaming Oversight Committee, wants the state to join Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon in opting out of the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) federal law that prevents sports betting in the US.

Kotik has been a supporter of a number of developments in Pennsylvania – from legislation that would allow online gambling to the introduction of slot machines at airports – and said that HB1627 would boost the economy, aid tax revenues and regulate sports betting.

Kotik said: “The intent of this legislation is to provide our casinos with an alternative form of entertainment, while also, regulating a popular market.

“This introduction comes at an interesting time. While our state budget remains in limbo, I would welcome further discussion on bridging a compromise plan with expanded forms of gaming.”

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