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Loses again in quest to bring sports betting to state

Loses again in quest to bring sports betting to state

Under the revised law, it was still illegal to bet on collegiate sporting events in the state and games involving college teams from New Jersey.

The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld the prohibition of sports gambling in New Jersey, ruling that the state's 2014 attempt at legalizing the practice violated the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the 1992 federal law that prohibits sports gambling in all but four states: Nevada, Oregon, Montana and Delaware. "It makes flawless sense to argue that New Jersey should have what Las Vegas has, and also quite frankly what organized crime has - internet off-shore sports betting sites".

The court noted that the state's 2014 law that called for deregulating and repealing all prohibitions against sports betting but limiting the activity to just racetracks and casinos was indeed a "de facto authorization" and, thus, in violation of PASPA. This law was passed in 1992 and effectively banned sports gambling almost everywhere except places like Las Vegas.

A US appeals court ruled in favor of the four major professional sports leagues and the NCAA on Tuesday, denying New Jersey's quest to legalize sports betting.

In 2014, New Jersey then enacted a new law that repealed its prohibition on gambling, but only at casinos and racetracks.

Though each court ruling has gone against the state, there have been dissents in two previous three-judge rulings at the 3rd Circuit. A legalized sports betting market in New Jersey would have theoretically voided the need for DFS platforms like DraftKings and FanDuel in the Garden State. The revised 2014 law would have allowed sports wagering only in Atlantic City casinos and certain racetracks. The latest ruling in the matter came in a long-awaited en banc review of an earlier appellate decision which also favored PASPA over New Jersey.

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"The majority fails to explain why a partial repeal is equivalent to a grant of permission (by law) to engage in sports betting", Fuentes wrote.

Through a spokesman, the National Football League declined to comment.

The 10-2 decision is a defeat for Republican Governor Chris Christie, who has seen courts void two state laws, including one in 2012, created to raise revenue through sports betting. State Sen. Raymond Lesniak, a longtime supporter of legalized gambling, told ESPN the state will appeal the decision.

The NBA, whose commissioner, Adam Silver, has advocated changing the federal law to allow legal sports gambling, on Tuesday said the ruling bolstered that argument. In an earlier iteration of the case, the 3rd Circuit declined New Jersey's request in 2013 for the full circuit to rehear the case. He said the wagering allowed under the new law would be unregulated by the state.

The case is NCAA v. Governor of New Jersey, 14-4546, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (Philadelphia).

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