US top court to consider reviving New Jersey sports betting law

Paterniano Del Favero
Giugno 29, 2017

In the consolidated cases of Christie v. NCAA and National Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association v. NCAA [SCOTUSblog materials], the court will consider whether a New Jersey law allowing sports betting at casinos and race tracks is preempted by federal law.

Christie and his allies say the law would reinvigorate the state's flagging gambling industry and generate as much as $1 billion in bets in the first year alone.

Ted Taylor, the president of Sportech in CT, has left no doubt that his company would seek rights to sports betting as an expansion of its exclusive right to offer pari-mutuel wagering on out-of-state horse and dog racing and jail alai.

Hills are already big in Nevada, handling almost 30 per cent of sports betting in the state after merging three small sports books and rebranding them under the Hills banner. Raymond Lesniak, a Democrat who has led the state's effort to legalize sports gambling, said a win for the state would give an additional boost to casinos.

New Jersey's governor Chris Christie is going against his former boss Donald Trump's advice given to the Supreme Court about the action.

The court will hear the case during its next term, which begins in October. Aside from straight betting on games, Fantasy Sports is what's helping to keep it the most popular US sport.

The case could now be heard as soon as this fall in the nation's highest court, which will have to decide if the 25-year-old Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) is unconstitutional. The leagues can't really use the artificially sanctified argument of "It's for the protection of sports integrity", especially after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver opined that sports wagering was okay under the right (regulated) circumstances, and the NHL has placed an expansion franchise in Las Vegas.

"If the Supreme Court goes the other way, I don't know what our other option is", he said.

The NFL has stayed silent on this case since it's original involvement in 2014, and hasn't released a comment on the Supreme Court's impending hearing.

Sports betting was legalized in Nevada in 1949. They cited the 1992 federal law prohibiting sports gambling known as PASPA, and the appeals court last summer agreed with them on that basis. "(But) I'm encouraged by it. The latest measure repealed New Jersey's existing prohibition on sports gambling, though only at tracks and casinos. "We're not declaring victory, but at least we're in the game, and that's where we want to be". The state tried again with a law in 2014, and the leagues sued again.

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