Wednesday June 25,2014 : NEW JERSEY – A NEW STRATEGY FOR SPORTS BETTING
Undeterred by the Supreme Court rejection, the Garden State mulls another plan.
This week's decision by the US Supreme Court to support lower court findings against New Jersey's attempt to undermine the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act by implementing intrastate legalization on sports betting is apparently not the end of the road for some politicians in the Garden State.
NBC Sports reports that State Senator Ray Lesniak plans to introduce Thursday a bill that could continue the fight for legalised sports betting in his state by de-criminalising the practice.
“I expect that the U.S. Justice Department will refrain from intervening, as they have with Colorado and Washington when those states legalized marijuana,” Lesniak said Tuesday.
Lesniak plans to implement his de-criminalisation law specifically at New Jersey racetracks and casinos, and not generally.
NBC predicts that his move will almost certainly trigger another aggressive and probably litigious response from sports leagues, notably the National Football League, known for its tough stance on any sports betting outside that permitted by the PASPA.
Lesniak is an old hand at driving gambling issues through the state legislature, having championed the successful legalization of online gambling and the state's less successful attempt to legalise sports betting.
Nevertheless, he will have to manage the passage of his bill through both Houses in the state legislature and then persuade governor Chris Christie to sign it into law; Christie has demonstrated in the past that he is prepared to exercise his veto powers if he deems it necessary…and Lesniak's new initiative is likely to bring him into political conflict with the federal authorities.
Christie's reaction to the Supreme Court rejection was philosophical this week:
"That's the way it goes,” he told the Associated Press news agency. “Nothing more I can say. They said ‘no’ so we have to move on.”