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New Jersey loses sports betting fight

Thu, Aug 11, 11:45am by Staff Writer

The sports betting landscape in the United States has again become unclear after a US appeals court ruled against New Jersey’s quest to legalise sports betting.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia found that New Jersey’s desire to bring Las Vegas-style sports betting to its casinos and horse racing tracks violated a 24-year-old federal prohibition on state-sponsored sports betting, known as PASPA.

“We now hold that the District Court correctly ruled that because PASPA, by its terms, prohibits states from authorizing by law sports gambling and because the 2014 Law does exactly that, the 2014 Law violates federal law,” Judge Marjorie Rendell wrote in the court’s 12-page opinion.

The major sports league, the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB, as well as the NCAA had fought New Jersey’s move with a desire to see sports betting reform implemented at a federal level rather than on a state by state basis.

“We remain supportive of a federal legislative framework that would protect the integrity of the game and allow those who bet on sports to do so in a legal and safe manner,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass told ESPN.

The American Gaming Association said the challenge was now out there for the impasse over sports betting prohibition to be resolved by Congress.

“Washington has a responsibility to fix a failed law that it created nearly 25 years ago. A federal government prohibition has driven an illegal, and occasionally dangerous, sports betting market of at least $150 billion annually,” and AGA statement read.

“Law enforcement, mayors, leaders in sports, fans and many others agree that it’s time for a regulated sports betting marketplace that protects consumers, communities and the integrity of sports we enjoy. AGA is building a broad coalition of stakeholders that will achieve a practical, modern day solution.”

New Jersey has indicated it will take its fight to the Supreme Court.

PASPA was designed to stop the spread of legal sports betting in the U.S, with the practice limited to four states: Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon.

Illegal sports gambling in the United States is estimated to be a $150 billion industry.

Meanwhile, former NBA commissioner David Stern is expected to express his support for legalising sports betting at an upcoming gaming conference in Las Vegas after being one of its major opponents in his time in charge of the league.

He has since changed his mind and wants a federally-regulated industry.

“I’m with Commissioner (Adam) Silver,” Stern said at a New York City conference last October. “There should be a federal legislation that says, ‘Let’s go all the way’ and have betting on sports. It’s OK. It’s going to be properly regulated.”

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