New Jersey once again pitched their argument for legal sports betting today in federal court.
The state has been trying since 2012, when a voter's referendum was passed and signed into law by Governor Christie, to allow their residents and tourists to wager on sports inside of licensed Atlantic City casinos.
The professional sports leagues along with the NCAA were quick to file a lawsuit against New Jersey, arguing that sports betting threatened the sanctity of their game; a position that has since become all the more dubious considering the open arms with which fantasy sports betting sites are embraced by the leagues.
The Blocker for State-run Sports Betting
Due to 24 year old federal legislation ("The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992"), sports betting across the United States is limited to Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana.
Nevada is the single largest beneficiary of the outdated statute, operating a virtual monopoly for land-based sports betting.
A decision is not expected for at least two months, and possibly longer. If New Jersey fails again, its only hope would be that the US Supreme Court takes on the case, though less than 1% of cases make it to the nation's highest court, according to sports and gambling attorney Daniel L. Wallach from a report by USA Today:
"Less than one percent of those who file certs are heard by the Supreme Court. That would be New Jersey's only option after today." Wallach went so far as to describe the possibility as a Hail Mary for New Jersey, though sports bettors still in shock after Aaron Rodger's 60-yard-heave against the Detroit Lions this past NFL season learned the hard way not to discount a miracle finish.
SBR Community Reaction to Legal Sports Betting
At the SBR Sportsbook & Industry discussion forum, long-time member and sports bettor 'StackinGreen' surveyed the board on the likely total of states to eventually offer sports gambling in the future.
"The dominoes will fall, it's just a matter of when. Michigan seems a likely state instituter of sports betting given their funding issues and already having land based casinos in Detroit. The irony here is that at this point, Vegas themselves doesn't care as much about the protection by PAPSA, because I think they even see the writing on the wall --- and they have the infrastructure to help instantly set up books or outright run them in other states for a cut. It will be interesting to see how the story develops. My take is that within 2 years there is a big breakthrough."
Sportsbook Review has interviewed NJ State Senator Raymond Lesniak a number of times on his vision for legal sports wagering in Atlantic City.
Not all states are in favor of legal sports betting; Texas Governor Abbott went on record to say as much, as SBR reported last November.
Sportsbook Review will keep readers posted on the status of sports betting in the Garden State. In the mean-time, the best and safest option for bettors outside of Nevada to place wagers from the comfort of their own home remains with the online sportsbooks voted best by the SBR forum community.