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New Jersey Loses Again In Sports Betting Saga

Federal Appeals Court Rules Against The State Once More


The Garden State has been trying to get sports books at Atlantic City casinos for about five years now, and on Tuesday a federal appeals court reiterated what previous rulings have said: New Jersey would be in violation of federal law if it has sports betting.

The Associated Press reported that the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling specifically says that the legislation New Jersey passed in 2014 in an effort to get around the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act is invalid. PASPA limited single-game sports betting to just Nevada. Delaware has parlay wagering.

The Garden State had the opportunity to be grandfathered in for sports betting but it declined to do so at the time. It claims PASPA is unconstitutional.

The professional sports leagues and the NCAA sued to stop New Jersey from implementing its plans for sports betting, and they have been successful in the courts. The U.S. Supreme Court was asked to weigh in, but it declined to do so.

It’s unclear how New Jersey will proceed from this point.

The ruling this week was the result of a hearing by the full 3rd Circuit, something that New Jersey had to fight for because the 3rd Circuit had previously declined to conduct such a hearing.

New Jersey’s best bet is likely federal reform. Earlier this year, the American Gaming Association said that “the next president is going to have the issue of legalizing sports betting on their desk.” The AGA estimated that nearly $150 billion is bet thru illegal channels each year.

Other states have also expressed discontent with the law of the land on sports betting. Pennsylvania indicated it wants sports books at its brick-and-mortar casinos should the feds act.

New Jersey has been persistent over sports betting because the activity has never been more popular in America. The regulated sports betting handle in Nevada is expected to be around $5 billion this year, which would be an all-time high. Last year, Nevada sports books took $4.2 billion in bets, which was the first time ever that the handle surpassed $4 billion. The sports books won $231.8 million of those wagers.

Las Vegas is also getting a NHL expansion team, while the NFL is considering allowing the Oakland Raiders to move there. Several stadium sites are being looked at.

Another reason is that Atlantic City continues to struggle. The Trump Taj Mahal recently announced that it will close in early October, which will leave just seven brick-and-mortar casinos in the city, which had 12 just a few years ago.