Pro leagues launch new motion against New Jersey sports betting bill

Pro leagues launch new motion against New Jersey sports betting bill

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 Totally Gaming

Four major North American professional sports leagues and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) have filed a motion in an effort to stop the US state of New Jersey from offering legal sports betting services.

The move comes after state Governor Chris Christie on Friday signed a bill to repeal partially the state’s prohibition on sports betting and allow casinos and racetracks in New Jersey to begin offering legal sports wagering.

The bill, which also received approval from state lawmakers by a vote of 27-1, includes a provision that bets are placed on events outside of the state to avoid conflict with a 1992 federal law. 

Monmouth Park Racetrack, one of the state’s oldest thoroughbred tracks, is now set to begin offering sports betting services as early as this weekend.

Despite the bill having received heavy support from New Jersey, the NFL American football league, NBA basketball, NHL ice hockey and MLB baseball, as well as the NCAA, have all voiced their concerns over such activity.

The sporting organisations, which last month filed a court challenge against the bill prior to Christie signing it, have now launched a new motion to prevent the state from offering sports betting.

In paperwork filed in US District Court yesterday (Monday), the sports organisations said the new bill is “in clear and flagrant violation of federal law”.

The organisations added that the bill aims “to accomplish what it unsuccessfully attempted to do three years ago: sponsor, operate, advertise, promote, license or authorise gambling on amateur and professional sports at state-licensed casinos and horse racetracks. Because this effort is no more lawful than New Jersey's past ones, it, too, should be enjoined”.

Reports suggest that the complaint could be heard by a judge in Trenton as early as today (Tuesday).

In order for an injunction to be granted, the leagues will have to prove that immediate and irreparable harm will come from sports bets being taken in the state.


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