Don’t count New Jersey out of the sports betting game just yet. This morning the full Third Circuit said it would revisit a 2-1 panel decision that threw out an appeal related to New Jersey’s sports betting authorization act. The bill signed by Governor Christie in 2014, would have allowed sports betting at racetracks and casinos in the Garden State.
The state had moved for a rehearing of the matter and now an en banc hearing, one that involves all active judges in the circuit, has been granted in response to New Jersey’s petition. The state lost an appeal to rehear the case in August by a 3 member panel of judges.
According to most interpretations of the current federal law barring sports betting, New Jersey did not act in time to be “grandfathered in” when the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (The Bradley Act) of 1992 went into effect on January 1, 1993. Sports lotteries conducted in Oregon, Delaware, and Montana were exempt, as were licensed sports pools in Nevada. Any state who had casino gambling in the ten years previous (a carve-out crafted specifically for New Jersey) could also become exempt from the law.
Before Senator Ray Lesniak authored the bill to legalize sports betting in the state, New Jersey had argued unsuccessfully that the Bradley Act was unconstitutional.
No date for oral arguments or a rehearing of the case have been announced yet, but it is not likely the justices will consider it before the end of the year.