NEW JERSEY HORSEMEN LEADING THE CHARGE AGAINST SPORTS BETTING BAN
Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act puts New Jersey at a significant disadvantage to states that are allowed to accept sports wagers.
The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemens Association is leading the charge in appealing to the US Supreme Court for sports betting to be made legal in New Jersey, according to reports in local media.
The approach to the Supreme Court is the latest in a years-long struggle by the Garden State to secure the right to permit sports wagering
The horsemen have filed a "writ of certiorari" with the Court in a 24-page submission that asks the highest court in the land to consider:
"Does a federal statute that prohibits adjustment or repeal of state-law prohibitions on private conduct impermissibly commandeer the regulatory power of States in contravention of New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144 (1992), and Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 898 (1997)?"
Essentially the submission asks if Congress has overstepped its bounds with regard to states rights in the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. The Commerce Clause, the Supremacy Clause, and the 10th Amendment also are invoked.
The submission lays out the economic impact to the horse racing industry of the current situation in which just four US states are permitted to offer sports betting.
The horsemen have their own specific concerns:
"The NJTHA believes that sports betting is an essential component of the NJTHA’s overall plan to make Monmouth Park an economically self-sustaining Thoroughbred Racetrack, better able to compete with racetracks in surrounding States that are bolstered by casino revenues," the filing asserts, quoting a report prepared by Karyn Malinowski, Ph.D. of the Rutgers Equine Science Center.
This concluded that if racing-related and breeding farms in New Jersey were to cease operations it would have a $780 million negative annual impact; put 7,000 jobs in danger; eliminate $110 million in tax revenues; and leave over 163,000 acres of open space vulnerable to future development.
The filing also notes the competitive disadvantages created by PASPA’s exemption in favor of four States (especially Nevada and neighboring Delaware), saying that the prohibition it imposes puts the Garden State’s horse industry at such a severe disadvantage that the economic viability of the New Jersey horse industry has been and continues to be seriously damaged.
"The only business revenue stream that can save Monmouth Park at the present time is revenue from sports betting. Monmouth Park estimates that it is losing over one million dollars every week because of its inability to offer sports betting due to the Third Circuit’s judgment," the filing pleads.
The horsemen also take a swing at the national sports leagues which have continually blocked all attempts to widen sports betting in the United States, commenting:
"While Monmouth Park suffers this significant injury, the Leagues continue to reap enormous profits on daily fantasy sports – wagering based on the performances of players in the Leagues’ sports contests – where the Leagues are actively promoting such betting and/or owning daily fantasy betting platforms that are now authorized by law in numerous states despite the fact that PASPA may prohibit daily fantasy wagering."