Appeals court slams door on New Jersey sports gambling

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Several years ago, Delaware tried — and failed — to implement betting on individuals sporting events.  New Jersey also has tried, and continues to fail.  For now.

Via the Associated Press, a federal appeals court has rejected the argument that the 1990 federal law aimed at restricting the proliferation of sports wagering in states where sports wagering didn’t already exist violates the U.S. Constitution.  One of the three judges disagreed with the ruling, giving the powers-that-be in New Jersey a plausible basis for optimism.

“For the first time, a judge has ruled in our favor,” state senator Ray Lesniak said. “That gives us hope that others, either Supreme Court justices or the entire Court of Appeals for our district, will allow New Jersey to enjoy the economic benefits of sports betting that are now reserved exclusively for Nevada.”

The next step will be to seek a rehearing before all judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  Then, the case would head to the U.S. Supreme Court, which only takes up a small percentage of the cases presented to it.

Typically, the Supreme Court gets involved only when the various circuit courts throughout the country have reached different results on the same issue, or when the rulings of the lower courts are clearly wrong.

The NFL and other sports leagues aggressively resist the expansion of sports wagering.  Making the situation even more awkward is the fact that the next Super Bowl will be played in New Jersey.  If New Jersey somehow gets its way, it’s the only Super Bowl that ever will be played there.

12 responses to “Appeals court slams door on New Jersey sports gambling

  1. “…will allow New Jersey to enjoy the economic benefits of sports betting that are now reserved exclusively for Nevada.”

    Want to make even more money? Legalize and tax marijuana.

  2. Gambling on sports should be allowed in every U.S. state. You can do it online or in Vegas so why not in every state? Tax it accordingly. States don’t want to lose $ from scratch offs and Powerball, which both have HORRIBLE odds. If you want to gamble on something with decent odds, you either have to go to Vegas or gamble online, both inconvenient.

  3. This ruling is going down eventually. It applies the law to states unequally. It’s a clear violation of the 14th Amendment/Equal Protection Clause and likely the 10th Amendment. Not that this stops our monstrous government, of course.

  4. This law basically gives LV a monopoly on gambling revenue. How is it that even allowed? Businesses can’t but state governments can? Either no gambling is legal or you open the flood gates. That is only fair thing. But who am I kidding. Laws in this country are short of fair.

  5. patsbrat says:
    Sep 17, 2013 8:41 PM
    “…will allow New Jersey to enjoy the economic benefits of sports betting that are now reserved exclusively for Nevada.”

    Want to make even more money? Legalize and tax marijuana.


    Search the Daily Show for the episode they did on sports betting and legalizing weed in NJ. Jon Stewart clowns Christie, as usual.

  6. Much like weed all they’re doing is creating black markets and not getting a cut. People are going to do drugs and people are going to gamble, legal or illegal, one way or another. Make some money off it for the government. That trillion dollar deficit is never going to fix itself while we stick to the same ol’ same ol’.

  7. Why does the USA have this massive blind spot for gambling?

    In so many other ways they lead the world when it comes to individual freedom, yet they feel that adults should be legally prevented from doing something as fundamentally basic as risk their own money on a quasi-random outcome. Unless of course it’s something that is ‘allowed’ for whatever arbitrary reason like the stock market, lotteries or when you’re at the races.

  8. Clearly people only bet on sports in Nevada. Surely, there are no bookies in New Jersey. If it were me, I would rather people bet on sports legitimately with corporations than go through bookies with ties to organized crime. Same thing for buying pot. Prohibition never works, regulation sometimes does.

  9. The SCOTUS doesn’t rule on gambling, it rules on whether the law violates the Constitution. It doesn’t violate the 14th Amendment/Equal protection Clause. That applies to individuals. It doesn’t violate the 10th Amendment because one of the Enumerated Powers given to Congress under the Commerce Clause gives the Federal Gov’t the power to make laws regulating commerce between states.

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