Federal judge rules for NFL, other leagues in N.J. sports betting case

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The NFL, other major sports leagues and the federal government scored a legal victory Thursday when a federal judge ruled in favor of their efforts to block New Jersey’s plans to offer sports wagering.

In a written opinion granting a permanent injunction blocking New Jersey from enacting sports betting, U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp ruled that existing federal gaming law, which limits sports betting to just four states, is constitutional.

State Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak, a supporter of expanding gaming in New Jersey, told multiple media outlets Friday that the state plans to appeal the ruling.

In an email to PFT, NFL vice president of corporate communications Brian McCarthy said that the “ruling speaks for itself.”

In addition to the NFL, the NCAA, NBA, NHL and MLB are plaintiffs in the suit against New Jersey, which ramped up its efforts to offer sports betting last year.

This isn’t the first time sports leagues have fought expanded efforts to wager upon their games. The NFL and other leagues previously fought Delaware’s plans to offer a wide array of sports wagering. The state is allowed to take parlay, or multi-game bets, on pro football games.

The ruling is also a victory for Nevada, the only state that can offer single-game sports betting.

17 responses to “Federal judge rules for NFL, other leagues in N.J. sports betting case

  1. The ruling makes no sense. You can do it online in NJ, so why can’t you do it in person.

  2. The ruling is a victory for entities outside of the United States, which handle more than Nevada and pay no taxes to the federal government. Well done, America.

  3. Simply indefensible.

    That’s OK. The nullification movement gains strength every day. Google it if you don’t know what it means.

    Within a few years, so many states will be ignoring or overriding unconstitutional and nonsensical federal laws that the US government will either have to relent and apply some common sense to their laws, or tie up impossible amounts of resources in federal lawsuits.

    The law forbidding sports gambling are no different than federal marijuana laws already being nullified in Colorado and Washington.

    The Freedom Train is rolling. Get on board.

  4. The federal government backing big business over State’s rights to govern? You don’t say.

  5. Mornelith- It is more like Federal government and the NFL in bed with the mob. No other reason to keep it illegal in NJ than to keep the bookies in business.

  6. Basred on the existing case law this was really an expected decision at the District Court level. The District Court is bound by prior decisions but filing and losing at the District Court level is a necessary step to bring the matter up through appeal. I expect that NJ will also lose at the Circuit Court of Appeals and will then petition for US SUP Ct review. Meanwhile they will likely also pursue change through US Congress as well.

  7. Eventually NJ will win this case. The US Supreme Court is about to overturn the Voter Rights Act by ruling that states can’t subjected to different levels of regulation by the government. I don’t see how they could rule that Southern States can’t be held to additional scrutiny by the federal government in voter rights issues while also saying certain states are allowed to get favorable gambling regulations from the government.

  8. I didn’t know you could bet on games! It’s an outrage!
    Congress could balance the budget if it gets 5% of money wagered. The states could get 25%? And the rest for the operators. Win-Win.

  9. The NFL only supports gambling when it is used to fund a new stadium. Hypocrites.

  10. Sure the NFL is against gambling. London doesn’t have any gambling parlors taking bets on the NFL games just outside Wembley Stadium. Hypocrites.

  11. Congress can treat gambling as a form of interstate commerce since the limits on the power have mostly been vaporized. That said, there would seem to be an obvious equal protection problem if citizens of some states can gamble legally and citizens of others can’t under federal law.

  12. The Las Vegas lobby wins again. The law shouldn’t be used to protect people from themselves. But like others have pointed out, this just means that people who want to gamble will go the underground route and money will end up in the wrong hands. I look forward to the day that the majority of people start ignoring these non-sensical laws made by a government that was never intended to have the authority to make them.

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