iGaming Business – The US Department of Justice has reportedly joined the country’s major sports leagues in opposing an effort by New Jersey to allow sports betting in the state’s casinos and racetracks despite a federal ban.

According to the PressofAtlanticCity.com website, the federal government branded the state’s legal strategy as “meritless theory” and called on District Judge Michael Shipp to keep an existing court order in place to halt the plans.

The Department of Justice has echoed the arguments of the professional sports leagues in stating that New Jersey’s plan violates the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

The Act bans sports betting outside Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon, which all received exemptions to maintain sports betting before the US Congress enacted the law in 1992.

Led by state Senator Ray Lesniak, lawmakers in New Jersey have said that PASPA only prohibits the state from authorising and regulating sports betting.