New Jersey Sports Gambling Law Blocked in Win for Leagues
By Phil Milford & Sophia Pearson – Mar 1, 2013 8:09 AM ET
A federal judge in New Jersey barred a law that would legalize sports gambling in the state, siding with sports organizations, including the National Collegiate Athletic Association and theNational Football League, which sued to block the legislation from taking effect.
The state law, signed by Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in January 2012, permits wagering on professional and college sports at racetracks and Atlantic City casinos.
Sports organizations including the NCAA, NFL, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League and Major League Baseball, along with the U.S. government, argued that the measure would undermine the integrity of professional sports, and should be barred under a 1992 federal law requiring states to restrict sports betting. New Jersey argued that the federal law was unconstitutional.
“After careful consideration, the Court has determined that Congress acted within its powers and the statute in question does not violate the United States Constitution,” U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp said in a ruling yesterday.
The judge issued an injunction prohibiting New Jersey from “sponsoring, operating, advertising, promoting, licensing, or authorizing a lottery, sweepstakes or other betting, gambling, or wagering scheme” based on amateur or professional competitive games.
Legalized sports gambling could generate $1 billion in bets and as much as $100 million in new annual revenue for the state in its first year, William J. Pascrell III, a lead lobbyist for the measure, said in an earlier interview.
The U.S. Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 bans sports betting in all but four states: Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon.
The case is National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Christie, 12-4947, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Trenton).
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