Despite attempts to legalize sports betting in New Jersey, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled against the appeal of the US state by two to one vote. Last year New Jersey voted to remove the prohibition of sports gambling in the state arguing that this move doesn’t violate the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 because the US state did partially allowed this activity but restricted it to casinos and racetracks. Sports betting is currently allowed only in Delaware, Nevada, Oregon and Montana and other states are forbidden to legalize it.
In order to prevent the passing of the law the NCAA and four big pro sports leagues filed charges pointing out that the repeal of the law in New Jersey is in fact a legalization of sports betting. Two days ago the court agreed.
Attorney Christopher Soriano, who has been following the matter closely, said on Twitter that the Third Circuit Court of Appeals holds that the legalization in 2014 provides authorization for conduct which is otherwise entirely legally banned. As a result, “specific permission” leads to authorizing which is prohibited by the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).
However, the battle isn’t over because NJ state Senator Ray Lesniak reportedly said that he would appeal for a hearing at the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
New Jersey has been hoping to authorize sports betting in order to increase the revenues of its casinos and racetracks which have been hit hard by the opening of such facilities in neighboring Pennsylvania and Maryland. The people of the state voted in favor of the referendum that would introduce state sponsored sports betting in 2011 and PASPA was challenged. However, the law never took effect because of the strong opposition.