If New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone has his way, the US Supreme Court will be taking up his home state’s sports betting case in the near future.

Pallone called for US Acting Solicitor General Jeff Wall to write a brief that agrees with New Jersey’s stance that SCOTUS should hear the state’s appeal. The state has been locked in a lengthy legal battle in federal court to attempt to allow sports betting at Atlantic City casinos and the state’s racetracks.

Pallone: Let NJ have sports betting

Pallone’s office penned a detailed letter to Wall’s office, outlining New Jersey’s legal position. Pallone, the state, and other proponents of NJ sports betting argue that a federal ban on sports betting (a law called PASPA) usurps state’s rights.

Earlier this year, the nation’s highest court asked the SG’s office to weigh in on the case. A brief from Wall that backs up New Jersey’s position would be a positive development in the state’s quest to legalize single-game sports wagering.

“This case is about whether the Third Circuit accorded sufficient room to the State of New Jersey to effectuate the will of its citizens under New Jersey’s state Constitution, laws, and sovereign powers under the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” Pallone wrote to Wall. “Without the Supreme court’s review and a decision on this appeal, these areas of disagreement and conflict will inevitably grow and lead to more confusion.  After all, the question of how a state authorizes sports gambling by law or compact without violating PASPA remains extremely hazy.”

“New Jersey should have the same opportunity to proceed with sports betting that has been allowed in other states,” Pallone continued. “The Third Circuit’s decisions have usurped the power of New Jerseyans and the State of New Jersey to share in the considerable profits from sports betting.”

What’s the SG going to say on NJ sports betting?

While Pallone’s office put together a detailed look at why New Jersey feels it’s right, it seems unlikely this tips the scale to New Jersey’s side. Wall and his office are probably well along on the SCOTUS brief already, and the SG’s office is going to arrive at its own conclusions. The SG’s office already met with parties in the case awhile back to hear their arguments.

Wall is expected to offer a brief sometime this month, and what conclusion he will arrive at is unknown.

A decision on whether SCOTUS will hear NJ’s appeal is expected in the coming months.

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New Jersey moves ahead with another sports betting product

While the NJ sports betting case awaits its fate, some in New Jersey are doing what they can in the interim.

A fantasy sports product called FastPick is in the process of being rolled out at Resorts AC. It appears to look a lot more like sports betting than traditional daily fantasy sports.

Short of having single-game wagering in the state — which is still a ways off even if SCOTUS hears the appeal — this appears to be the next best thing.

Dustin Gouker

About

Aside from his role as editor at LegalSportsReport.com, 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.