Wednesday August 8,2012 : PREEMPTIVE STRIKE ON SPORTS BETTING BY MAJOR U.S. SPORTS BODIES
Five major US sports association launch litigation against state of New Jersey
Five major US sports bodies launched what can only be called a pre-emptive strike against New Jersey's sports betting ambitions Tuesday, filing a lawsuit invoking the provisions of the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which bans sports wagering in any U.S. state, with the exception of Delaware, Oregon, Montana and Nevada.
NorthJersey.com reports that the suit was filed by Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
In essence, the suit claims: “Gambling on amateur and professional sports threatens the integrity of those sports and is fundamentally at odds with the principle…that the outcome of collegiate and professional athletic contests must be determined, and must be perceived by the public as being determined, solely on the basis of honest athletic competition.
"The sponsorship, operation, advertising, promotion, licensure, and authorization of sports gambling in New Jersey," the lawsuit states, "would irreparably harm amateur and professional sports by fostering suspicion that individual plays and final scores of games may have been influenced by factors other than honest athletic competition."
New Jersey legislators have set the pace for a number of other states keen to see the PASPA overthrown in the interests of fair competition in a lucrative market by states other than those permitted by the act.
Gov. Chris Christie has already signed legalization that would legalise sports betting in New Jersey while noting the state would move forward with plans for sports betting despite the federal ban. The regulations were published in July and are expected to become effective within the next two months.
“Am I expecting there may be legal action taken against us to try to prevent it? Yes. But I have every confidence we’re going to be successful,” said Christie in May this year.
A spokesman for Christie had no immediate comment on the lawsuit Tuesday.