Christie encouraged court reviewing betting case

Posted June 28, 2017

"We are hopeful their engagement will provide further encouragement for Congress to take the steps necessary to create a regulated sports betting marketplace in the United States". Under the current Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, such wagers are allowed only in the state of Nevada.

In January, the Supreme Court had asked the incoming Trump administration to offer its views on whether the justices should take up New Jersey's appeal, and the administration advised against it. New Jersey passed the second law in 2014, and a lower courts struck it down a year ago.

The US Supreme Court has confirmed that it will conduct a review of a previous court decision which, if rejected, could pave the way for the legalisation of sports gambling at New Jersey's casinos and racetracks. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver called for the nationwide legalization and regulation of sports wagering in 2014, and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said this year that his league was reconsidering its opposition to sports betting. Supporters of New Jersey's efforts see it as a states' rights issue.

Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-2) said sports betting would bring tourism and tax revenue to South Jersey and reinvigorate Atlantic City, where five casinos have closed since 2014.

Legalized sports wagering in New Jersey has been supported by Monmouth Park, which is operated by the state's horsemen under a lease from the state.

Christie and the lawmakers argue that the state is being unconstitutionally forced to prohibit sports gambling.

The high court said Tuesday that it will hear the case, which challenges a federal law that bans most states from legal sports betting, during its next term. The NFL and National Hockey League are in Las Vegas now, after all - something that would have been unthinkable five years ago.

The court made a decision to take up the case even though the Trump administration urged the justices not to hear Christie's appeal.

The case has lasted almost as long as Christie has been in office. Nevada is the only state to allow single-game wagering. New Jersey voters passed a non-binding referendum to allow sports betting in 2011.

Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia and Wisconsin have joined with New Jersey in appealing the decision to the Supreme Court. The American Gaming Association also released a statement this morning, claiming that PASPA has "failed to protect sports and fans" and is "fueling an unregulated $150 billion illegal gambling market".

The groups cited research that showed legalizing sports betting in the USA could support more than 150,000 jobs.