Monday May 28, 2012 : ANOTHER TAKE ON THE NEW JERSEY SPORTS BETTING CHALLENGE (Update)
Legal problems could be difficult to overcome, opines NBC Sports writer
New Jersey's looming confrontation with federal law and sports bodies over the Professional Amateur Sports Protection Act could face legal hurdles that may be difficult to clear, according to respected NBC Sports writer, Mike Florio.
Responding to an article by Tim Dahlberg of the Associated Press over the weekend, Florio suggests that Dahlberg may have overlooked the legal challenges inherent in trying to bypass, change or overthrow the PASPA in the face of opposition from either federal lawmakers or powerful sports bodies like the NFL.
Florio bases his argument on the fact that both New Jersey and Delaware fall under the jurisdiction of the Third Judicial Circuit, which at the instigation of the NFL ruled against a Delaware attempt to legalise single-game sports betting three years ago. The case went on appeal, and Delaware lost there too.
"The fact that Delaware and New Jersey are in the same judicial circuit means that this case most likely is over before it even begins," Florio opines.
"The issue is settled; the federal law prohibiting sports gambling beyond any programs that states had in place between 1976 and 1990 has been upheld by the same appeals court to which any case against New Jersey would eventually go. (An appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court could change the outcome, but the Supreme Court refused to hear the Delaware case.)"
Florio goes on to consider the reasons behind the NFL's implacable opposition to more widely available sports betting.
"We continue to believe that, if sports gambling becomes legalized and thus legitimized, there will be more and more pressure on the NFL to ensure that every call made in every game is accurate, forcing the league to employ officials on a full-time basis, expand the use of instant replay, and fend off periodic charges that the outcomes are fixed as millions of legally wagered dollars change hands (or don’t) based on a garbage-time touchdown that maybe shouldn’t have been ruled a touchdown," he posits.
In related news, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, asked about Gov. Christie's fighting words on the PASPA over the weekend, told Yahoo Sports reporters that his organisation is presently not considering reactions such as moving the 2014 Super Bowl away from New Jersey.
Aiello reminded the hacks that the law of the land prohibits sports betting outside of the provisions of the PASPA, and reiterated that the league is “…opposed to sports wagering that uses our games as bait.”
He emphasised that the NFL planning for Super Bowl 2014 continued with New Jersey as the venue of choice, and that he anticipated little impact from Gov. Christie's statement earlier this week.