Five States, American Gaming Association Join New Jersey In Sports Betting Court Battle

[toc]New Jersey is not going down without a fight in its quest to offer legal sports betting. And it is getting some help.

The latest on NJ sports betting

A pair of NJ sports betting cases have been in the federal court system for years, and have all ended in defeat for the state.

Twice New Jersey has passed laws attempting to legalize sports wagering within its borders. The hope is that allowing sports betting will help prop up the struggling casino industry in Atlantic City.

Both times, the major US professional sports leagues and the NCAA filed suit, saying the laws violated federal law — the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.

The latest round in court was shot down when an en banc panel of the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the state

Since then, the state has appealed to the US Supreme Court. New Jersey is getting an assist from a number of parties in the form of amicus briefs.

Who is backing New Jersey in sports betting case?

New Jersey is not going it alone, as a number of interested parties have filed briefs backing New Jersey’s position that it should be allowed to offer sports betting.

Many legal experts feel that PASPA — a de facto prohibition on sports betting almost everywhere except for Nevada — violates the Tenth Amendment of the constitution on states’ rights.

Some of the briefs that have been filed to date:

“As President-elect Donald Trump has acknowledged, illegal sports betting is a thriving industry,” said AGA president and CEO Geoff Freeman. “The 24-year-old federal ban –which is breathing life into a $150 billion illegal sports betting market — threatens the integrity of games, presents fundamental questions about states’ sovereignty to define their own laws and combat crime within their borders, and prevents fans from engaging with the sports they enjoy in a safe, legal way.

“The United States Supreme Court should consider New Jersey’s important claims and allow all states to address the serious problems associated with illegal sports betting.”

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What’s next for NJ sports betting?

There are still filings due in the appeals process from both sides. There is no timeline for a decision from SCOTUS on whether to hear the appeal. However, the prospects of the country’s highest court taking that appeal up appeal to be slim.

The state is also pondering introducing another bill that would get around PASPA and legalize sports betting.

But for now, New Jersey will play the waiting game for the Supreme Court.

About the Author

Dustin Gouker

Aside from his role as editor at, Dustin Gouker writes extensively about the legal online gaming and US online poker industries, having played poker recreationally for his entire adult life. He has also covered sports for The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner, among others.