U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Rule on NJ Sports Betting
Earlier this week New Jersey’s attempts to legalize sports betting suffered a setback when the US Supreme Court refused to rule on the state’s dispute over sports betting.
However, Ray Lesniak, the Democratic state senator behind the bill that caused the court case, says that he has a second plan to have legal sports betting in place in time for the opening of the New York Giants’ NFL season on September 8th.
According to the original law and the judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the law doesn’t “prohibit New Jersey from repealing its ban on sports wagering”. Instead it forbids states from encouraging sports betting through issuing licenses and promoting it.
Lesniak has taken this to mean that unregulated sports betting is completely legal. As a result he is intending to introduce a bill which would remove the ban on sports gambling at casinos and racetrack and also remove the previous attempts to license the activity.
Lesniak is probably on shaky ground as the sports leagues are hardly likely to let this go unchallenged. However, Lesniak says that it was the Justice Department that put forth this argument and made it into a court decision.
He compared it to the recent legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington, “Federal law prohibits manufacture and distribution of marijuana, but they haven’t stepped in to stop Colorado and Washington from legalizing it.”