Three years ago, Delaware planned to introduce sports betting, including gambling on individual NFL games. The proposal prompted a lawsuit from the NFL and other sports leagues.
Now, New Jersey wants to give it a try. Governor Chris Christie said Thursday that sports wagering will arrive at New Jersey horse racing tracks and Atlantic City casinos later this year.
The NFL almost certainly will file suit to stop it.
“Legalized sports gambling beyond where it already existed is prohibited,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports.
Aiello refers to a 1992 federal law that prohibits sports wagering. The only exception is that states allowing wagering from 1976 through 1990 could re-implement or continue such programs.
The NFL’s attack on the Delaware plan succeeded, forcing the Delaware to merely resurrect its post-1976 foray into parlay betting, where multiple games are selected at a time.
The difference this time around is that two NFL teams are headquartered in New Jersey, and Super Bowl XLVIII will be played there. For now, however, New Jersey’s effort won’t affect the game.
“We are continuing our Super Bowl planning and do not anticipate this having any impact,” Aiello told Wetzel.
The league’s position possibly is influenced by strong optimism that the NFL will beat down the New Jersey plan in court. However, if New Jersey somehow prevails, the league’s plans could change, in theory.