Fresh appeal launched against sports betting ban

Fresh appeal launched against sports betting ban

Wednesday, September 9, 2015 Totally Gaming
Gov Chris Christie wants Monmouth Park to be able to offer sports betting

New Jersey sports betting supporters are to continue their fight against the federal ban following last month’s Court of Appeals rejection.

With the new National Football League (NFL) American football season just 48 hours away, a group led by Governor Chris Christie filed a motion for the full Third Circuit to re-hear the case.

Christie – a candidate for the Republican nomination in next year’s Presidential election – was joined by the state Legislature and the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association of New Jersey (TBANJ) in challenging the court decision, continuing a battle that began when the electorate voted to legalise sports betting in 2011.

State officials have argued that sports betting is taking place regardless of the law, and a legal structure could help revive ailing Atlantic City and the state's horse racing industry.

A spokesman for Christie told the website: “The people of New Jersey have spoken on this issue, and we will continue to fight to protect the will of our voters from the fickle and unfair application of outdated and unconstitutional federal law.

“At the end of the day, this isn't just about New Jersey being treated fairly under federal law, but about the common sense reality of bringing a sports wagering industry that is already taking place every day in our state out of the shadows.”

After the poll in 2011, Christie signed a law that would allow sports betting, but after the major sports leagues sued, both a federal court and the Third Circuit appeals court sided with them in 2013, and the US Supreme Court declined to hear the state's case.

A further bill was introduced in 2014, but just days before Monmouth Park racecourse was set to launch its sportsbook, this was ruled illegal by a federal judge, with a Third Circuit appeal turned down in August.

Attorney Ronald Riccio, speaking for TBANJ, said that Monmouth Park could close if it is not allowed to offer sports betting.

He said: “New Jersey's economy and environment are at risk in this case.

“It will likely mean the end of New Jersey's equine industry, taking with it the jobs that this industry provides. A similar fate may befall Atlantic City as casinos continue to close.”

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