New Jersey Begins a Third and Possibly Reckless Attempt at Legalized Sports Betting

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the many failed attempts by the New Jersey Legislature to legalize sports betting in their state. These attempts have been opposed by all the major sports leagues, including the NFL, NBA and MLB and have been stopped at various legal levels including the Supreme Court. After four years and so many failures, its somewhat surprising that New Jersey legislators are, once again, looking for a way to become the Las Vegas sports betting of the east. An online source explains the path of past failed attempt:  

New Jersey has seen its two previous attempts to allow sports betting fail in the courts. In the first attempt, New Jersey simply passed a law allowing sports betting at casinos and racetracks in 2012. The bill was quickly challenged by the professional sports leagues which cited the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Betting Act of 1992, which prohibits sports betting.

The state challenged PASPA as unconstitutional saying it imposes on state’s rights and unfairly carves out exceptions for states that had some form of sports betting before the ban—most notably Nevada.

In losing appeals for that case, courts said New Jersey may be able to get around the ban by allowing self-regulated sports betting with no state control. That led to the second attempt which would have allowed self-regulated betting at casinos and racetracks.

But courts also struck down that law, saying that by restricting where sports betting would be allowed, the state was still regulating the practice. A federal appeals court upheld that ruling in August, leading to the state’s Supreme Court Challenge. The Supreme Court declined to hear New Jersey’s appeal of its first sports betting law.

The conclusion lawmakers have drawn from these rulings is quite surprising. They believe that the key then, is to pass a law that repeals any and all state regulation pertaining to sports gambling. The implications are not only extreme, but borderline reckless given the law would even allow children the opportunity to place sports bets. Assumptions are being made that after the rule passes new laws to shore up its short comings would be allowed. Its narrow thinking, based on the opinion of one dissenting judge, and those involved are at least seemingly aware that no one actually knows how to do it yet. The online source continues:

The bill makes clear that New Jersey is removing every prohibition or regulation of sports betting—something the federal government acknowledged the state has the power to do, supporters told the /AP/. However, the bill as stands would also mean that children could place bets as well as allow anyone to open their own sports book.

That’s why the state would likely have to add “limited restrictions” afterward, as envisioned by a federal judge who issued a dissenting opinion that sided with New Jersey.

“There have got to be things added to this,” Caputo told the /AP/. “A lot brighter people than me have worked on this and they haven’t found the ultimate answer yet.”

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