New Jersey's Online Sports Betting Legal Issue

Published Saturday, June 07, 2014 -
New Jersey's Online Sports Betting Legal Issue

Decisions are on hold for the time being regarding the legality of offering online sports betting in the Garden State of New Jersey USA. Nevada's single-game sports betting monopoly is being challenged by New Jersey in a court battle that may continue well into 2015.

New Jersey voters, overwhelmingly approved the sports betting plans in a 2011 referendum before the government went ahead with online gambling legislation. This opportunity to address the issue of the prohibition on sports betting as described by the 1992 federal PASPA on sports betting is the last chance New Jersey has to make its case.  

Lawyer Theodore Olson on behalf of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and its allies will present their case to the US Supreme Court on June 19 to consider whether the nine Justices will hear New Jersey’s appeal of lower court rulings. Olson will argue that the prohibition on sports betting as set out in the 1992 PASPA act is unconstitutional and that the Department of Justice and the sports leagues opposing New Jersey’s plans “do not [and cannot] cite a single comparable law.” Olson used the phrase “Orwellian” in describing the DOJ’s insistence that PASPA was written to “assist states in their efforts to prevent” sports betting. The legislators argue that what’s at stake is “no less than saving a critical barrier against federal overreaching into sovereign state functions.”

The government of New Jersey is going against the odds here when it comes to the offering of sports betting online. So far not much progress has been made on the legal front with sports organizations bringing the threat of corruption into the legal picture. New Jersey is going full steam ahead and may be out of luck if the Supreme Court refuses to hear their arguments one more time. If that happens New Jersey seems prepared to go the distance and offer online sports betting anyway at which time there may be more legal issues to come.


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