New Jersey pushes forward with sports betting effort

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On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court shot down New Jersey’s law that would have legalized sports betting at the state’s racetracks and casinos.

On Thursday, New Jersey took the first official step toward trying to circumvent the federal law that blocked the move.

According to Brent Johnson of the Newark Star-Ledger, the New Jersey House and Senate separately passed legislation that would repeal state laws prohibiting sports betting in New Jersey, which in turn would allow certain private companies to launch betting enterprises without state involvement.  The sponsors of the bill believe the feds won’t interfere, comparing the situation to the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington — even though marijuana remains a controlled substance from the perspective of the federal government.

That could be a major leap of logic and faith, given that the NFL and the other sports leagues that filed suit over the state’s previous plan have the resources and the incentive to push the Justice Department to intervene.  Also, the bill would not legalize betting generally but only at racetracks and casinos.

It’s unclear whether Governor Chris Christie will sign the bill.

The NFL had no comment earlier this week when the New Jersey Plan B was introduced.  It remains to be seen whether the league has anything to say if/when the fallback effort to legalize sports gambling in a state where 1/16th of the NFL’s teams reside becomes law.

UPDATE 3:02 p.m. ET:  The league still has no comment on the situation.

21 responses to “New Jersey pushes forward with sports betting effort

  1. I’m not sure why Christie wouldn’t sign the bill, it would bring in lots of money. It would give NJ the edge they lost when all the neighboring states, most notably PA, starting building casinos (except Del who already has sports betting).

  2. Trust me I can make bets in Jersey without Christie( aka humpy dumpty) getting an extra slice of cheddar on his cheeseburger

  3. Firstly, Has anyone told Roger Goodell that there are legal Sports Books on every corner in London? Secondly, can’t wait to walk 100 yds north of my tailgate to place bets at Meadowlands Raceway then walk 100 yds in the opposite direction into Metlife Stadium. NFL will love that!

  4. I don’t see how the Feds could force NJ to keep the laws in place. As I understand it NJ got spanked for affirmatively trying to legalize it.

    Since it is a well understood legal fact that the Federal Government cannot force a state to enforce Federal Laws with their own officers, it sounds like all NJ wants to do now is to leave it to the Feds to enforce Federal law as they see fit.

    I see no problem with this. If NJ doesn’t care about sports gambling and the Feds do, let the Feds foot the bill to enforce it.

  5. @rjmjets I’d think they would have betting closed at the Meadlowlands on game days, as the racetrack is closed. Too great a conflict of interest risk to have the circumstance you describe – the temptation for players, coaches, officials, etc to walk over and place a bet.

  6. The NFL, the big bully hypocrite. They’ll be behind it when they can start profiting from it. GODdell knows what he’s doing.

  7. Big differences between the marijuana and the casinos.

    1. Federal government can make a lot of money off of legalization, but would need huge momentum to have it organized and legalized among states before they can pass laws to get that money.

    There is a huge economic incentive for the feds to turn a blind eye and let state legislation continue the decriminalization route. Because it is still culturally polarizing in terms of votes, no one is going to have their party get behind it and lose an election. When enough states and votes get behind it, the feds will be waiting there to make money off the market.

    2. Casinos are essentially banks and are regulated through the Treasury. On the outside, it seems like places where you can have fun and gamble, but the product and the exchange are both US dollars.

    The Feds already have a tough time with the current casinos in power when it comes to money laundering, which essentially legal/illegal money isn’t being taxes, and Uncle Sam doesn’t get paid.

    England, Canada and China (with Macau) already have these issues and they are becoming more sophisticated with big black market groups controlling money passing through casinos. This not only brings about corruption, but seedy elements of all kinds, and the Feds are having trouble managing suspicious activity with just the few gambling establishments already in existence.

    If NJ sets a precedent, a domino effect could happen all over the country, and you would then have too many money laundering conduits that would be impossible to track. And the government could lose a lot more money if more people have access to clean their funds.

    3. Even on a low level, if I own a business and I make $2000, but will only declare $1200. I can switch $800 for some chips, lose about $50, cash out, and come away with $750 of untaxed money. And if the IRS looks at the books, they will see $750 of the $1200 was used for “play time”.

    Money can’t be hidden as well with products (ie: marijuana). Which is why bulk transactions with most goods are sent to the IRS or receipted as a transaction. You can verify the origin of a product like a plot of land or 1000 cases of water a lot easier than you can money.

    If you clean money with a casino, where is the evidence of fraud? Some cases is easy, but if you have trouble with 30 suspicious transaction a day X 40 casinos, what would happen if it becomes 3 x 400?

    Long rant, but understand government will fight anything that screws with getting taxes. The Feds aren’t going to lose this battle, I promise you that.

  8. Run in Canada by govt… All sports and is a huge money grab… Easy to control .. Big loser is the bettor having all major sports to bet on…. I loved it when I was there … Biggest issue is politicians putting cash into general revenue and no accountability… Major payouts come from lottery corp…anything under 1000.00 paid direct from store

  9. No way the most corrupt governor in the country is going to go against his mob buddies and allow sports betting to be legalized.

  10. Yes, Delaware has NFL betting but you can’t bet just one single game at a time. In Delaware you have to do a Parlay bet for 3 or more games at a time which is most impossible to win all 3 games on one bet. It sucks. Use a bookie in Delaware or go to Las Vegas.

  11. “If NJ sets a precedent, a domino effect could happen all over the country, and you would then have too many money laundering conduits that would be impossible to track. And the government could lose a lot more money if more people have access to clean their funds”

    youre ignoring the fact that casinos are already legal in many states now, heck the huge one in downtown baltimore is set to open in 2 months.

    sports betting doesn’t make money laundering any easier and/or difficult at any number of the many casinos now operating in the US

    i think it would be interesting if the feds went after the banks for processing casino funds and/or profits directly attributed to sports betting

  12. Congress provided a one-year window of opportunity from the effective date of PASPA (January 1, 1993) for states which operated licensed casino gaming for the previous ten-year period to pass laws permitting sports wagering. The latter exception was clearly crafted with New Jersey in mind. However, New Jersey failed to take advantage of this opportunity and carve out an exception for itself.

    Nobody is a hypocrite NJ had it’s chance, but failed to act when it had it’s opportunity. I still respect that they’re going to go through with it anyway.

    Also this will not put even the slightest dent into the illegal sports books. All the degenerate heavy gamblers will always continue bet illegally because they don’t have to lay out the money ahead of time. All the money is fronted to them. NJ would still get a piece of the pie but the bookys won’t be hurt at all.

    The Feds the NFL NHL MLB NBA etc. need to get over this and give up the fight. There always has been betting there always will be betting. Whether NJ goes through with this or not it really won’t make a difference. The proceeds will be a godsend to the state as they have been cutting budgets to police, schools, hospitals etc. It would really be a good thing for NJ hope they go through with it.

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