Judge Goes Against New Jersey's Online Sports Betting Bill

Published Friday, March 01, 2013 - Online-Casinos.com

The news that New Jersey governor Chris Christie has finally approved the online gambling legislation has been widely seen as a done deal, when in fact the legality of the law is in question. The seriousness of the legal debate has come to the fore as the judge after hearing the oral arguments from the proponents of the new laws and the sports leagues who have voiced their discontent has sided with those opposed to the sports betting argument.

Judge Michael Shipp came to the conclusion he would grant the sports leagues’ request for a permanent injunction thus disallowing the state of New Jersey from offering bets on professional or amateur sporting events. The forty five page judgement by Shipp indicated that New Jersey had not “clearly demonstrated” that their stand on sports betting was constitutionally correct. The Congress does allow Nevada to offer single-game wagers and permits three other states to offer variations on parlay wagering on sporting events. Shipp contends that the state was not entitled to protection under the Due Process Clause because such rights were restricted to individuals, not states. He also sided with the Department of Justices’ argument on the constitutionality of the federal prohibition on sports betting.

The Judge did however say that some of the arguments presented in this case were “novel” and that “judicial activism” was “generally unwarranted no matter how unwise a court considers a policy decision of the legislative branch.” The Judge did suggest that New Jersey attempt to revise the Federal prohibition on sports wagering something that is definitely considered a long term project for New Jersey’s advocates.

The decision will certainly see appeals via the US Third Circuit’s Court of Appeals in Philadelphia and possibly continue into Americas Supreme Court. It looks like the battle in court for New Jersey has just begun as the lawyers for both sides see the merits of the battle. The old saying that ‘you can’t fight city hall ‘seems appropriate in this drama with the Department of Justice opposing New Jersey’s plan.

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