Wednesday, October 3, 2012 : NEW JERSEY'S SPORTS BETTING PROPOSALS UNFAIR, SAY SPORTS LEAGUES
New Jersey legislators want to ban gambling on New Jersey college games, but allow betting on all other college and pro contests.
The major US sports leagues have fired back at the state of New Jersey's attempt to have their legal action against legalised New Jersey sports betting dismissed, claiming that the Garden State's proposed sports betting legalization law is hypocritical because it prohibits gambling on New Jersey college games, yet allows it on all other college and pro contests.
The NCAA, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, National Basketball Association and National Hockey League are collectively litigating to halt New Jersey's proposed sports betting law, which would overturn the PASPA, from taking effect…possibly as early as December this year.
"Notwithstanding defendants' insistence that the state's gambling scheme will have no adverse effect on the sports organizations, the state has exempted the sporting events of its own college and university teams, as well as all collegiate sporting events held within New Jersey, from the very gambling that defendants now insist will cause no injury," the sports leagues claimed in their most recent submission to a U.S. District Court on Monday.
"Nowhere in their brief do defendants attempt to explain why New Jersey has singled out its own teams and sporting events for protection from injuries that purportedly do not exist."
The New Jersey proposal limits betting to Atlantic City casinos and New Jersey horseracing tracks as the state tries to reverse the decline in fortunes of its gambling industry due to competition from neighbouring states.
Earlier this year New Jersey governor Chris Christie said New Jersey would push ahead with its sports betting law, despite the federal PASPA ban on sports gambling in all but four US states.
"We intend to go forward," the Republican governor said at the time. "If someone wants to stop us, then let them try to stop us."
In its motion last month to dismiss the leagues' lawsuit, New Jersey said an estimated $380 billion a year is wagered illegally on sporting events.
"The leagues' complaint alleges no facts that would suggest that this nearly half-trillion-dollar pre-existing industry has harmed the reputation or goodwill of the leagues," New Jersey legal representatives claimed in court papers. "Given that, there is no reason to believe that sports wagering in New Jersey will cause harm to the leagues ever."
Whilst state officials remained silent on the latest submission by the leagues, Sen. Raymond Lesniak, a strong proponent of legalised spsorts betting in New Jersey, commented that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, carved out special exemptions for Nevada and three other states that had legalised sports betting before a 1991 deadline – Delaware, Oregon and Montana.