No sports betting for NJ: Garden State loses legal fight with feds

NJ Gov Chris Christie sports betting appeal denied

The court noted that the state's 2014 law that called for deregulating and repealing all prohibitions against sports betting but limiting the activity to just racetracks and casinos was indeed a "de facto authorization" and, thus, in violation of PASPA.

Monmouth Park, in Oceanport on New Jersey's coast, is the only venue now set up to offer sports gambling, if it were legalized.

The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld the prohibition of sports gambling in New Jersey, ruling that the state's 2014 attempt at legalizing the practice violated the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the 1992 federal law that prohibits sports gambling in all but four states: Nevada, Oregon, Montana and Delaware.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling invalidates a law passed by New Jersey in 2014 that would have allowed sports betting at casinos and racetracks.

State Sen. Ray Lesniak, D-Union, however, said he believes the state will for a second time ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case because there was a dissenting opinion both times the case went before a three-judge panel in the Third Circuit.

Audio clip: Listen to audio clip. This phase of the battle earned a rare en banc rehearing in the Third Circuit.

Billions of dollars are bet illegally on sports annually, including an estimated $9.2 billion on this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament, according to the American Gaming Association, the Washington-based trade group for the casino industry.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals, today, denied an appeal of its ruling that prevented the state from implementing its sports betting law.

In a 10 to 2 vote, the Third Circuit sided on Tuesday with the NCAA and the sports leagues, though two of the judges wrote dissenting opinions.

Through a spokesman, the National Football League declined comment.

The 10-2 decision is a defeat for Republican Governor Chris Christie, who has seen courts void two state laws, including one in 2012, created to raise revenue through sports betting.

The sports organizations, backed by the USA government, called the law "yet another attempt" to allow sports betting "only under the conditions of the state's choosing".

The legal fight in New Jersey stretches back to 2011, when voters approved an amendment to the constitution to allow sports betting. He said the wagering allowed under the new law would be unregulated by the state. An appellate panel ruled for the league, saying New Jersey violated the federal law, which the judges declared constitutional. While Christie I at least gave the States the option of repealing, in whole or in part, existing bans on gambling on sporting events, today's decision tells the States that they must maintain an anti-sports wagering scheme.

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