Tuesday October 21,2014 : SPORTS LEAGUES CHALLENGE LATEST NEW JERSEY SPORTS BETTING BID
NFL, NCAA and other sports leagues file for an injunction against new New Jersey sports betting law.
With the ink barely dry on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's approval for a new intrastate sports betting law , the US national sports leagues, led by the NFL and NCAA have noted their opposition and intention to challenge the state again.
On Monday the sports organisations filed a lawsuit seeking to block the expansion of gambling the new law represents by applying for an injunction from federal Judge Michael Shipp, who ruled against New Jersey in its original attempt.
The leagues argue that this latest initiative to legalise sports betting in the Garden State is nothing more than an attempt to circumvent federal law. The bodies are buoyed by the fact that in previous court actions they have been generally successful in thwarting New Jersey's sports betting ambitions.
Court documentation indicates that the legal challenge is being spearheaded by the N.C.A.A., the National Basketball Association, the N.F.L., the National Hockey League and the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball.
The New York Times reports that New Jersey's first sports book is to have a soft opening on Sunday October 26 at Monmouth Park racetrack, where operators have already built infrastructure and plan to have 10 tellers taking bets only on the National Football League, and all by hand.
Other than to confirm their continuing opposition, the leagues have not commented in detail on their latest challenge to New Jersey.
The court filing argues that the law accomplishes “what it unsuccessfully attempted to do nearly three years ago: sponsor, operate, advertise, promote, license, or authorize gambling on amateur and professional sports at state-licensed casinos and horse racetracks. Because this effort is no more lawful than New Jersey’s past ones, it, too, should be enjoined.”
For a judge to grant the injunction, the leagues will have to demonstrate immediate and irreparable harm from having sports wagers placed at Monmouth Park on Sunday, the Times points out.
“I have a hard time believing that a judge will determine that the leagues can prove they can be irreparably damaged by Monmouth racetrack’s taking bets, when people are betting every single day legally in Nevada,” said State Senator Raymond J. Lesniak, the sponsor of the bill signed by Governor Christie.
“They want a monopoly – they want to have their gambling through fantasy sports,” the senator added. “They are not against us having sports betting, they just want to control it and run it. They are going to fight through the end – and I believe this is the end.”