UPDATE: Supreme Court won't hear New Jersey sports betting appeal

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Dreams of sports wagering in New Jersey aren't dead yet, despite a decision announced by the Supreme Court today (Monday, June 23) not to consider an attempt overturn a federal law banning the practice in all but four U.S. states.

New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney said in a statement, "We are not giving up though. The economic impact that sports wagering can have on New Jersey is far too important to simply shrug our shoulders and move on." 

Reps. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-6th) and Frank LoBiondo (R-2nd) also indicated in a joint statement that they are pushing ahead.

“We implore our colleagues in Congress to support federal legislation that will allow the state of New Jersey to implement its law and authorize legalized sports wagering,” the congressmen said. “We firmly remain committed to pushing for passage of legislation, which we have introduced and which would bring legal sports wagering to New Jersey.”

In September 2013, a three judge panel of the Third Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals split 2-1 in its decision to uphold a district court ruling against New Jersey.

The Supreme Court decided to let that decision stand which found that New Jersey could not enact sports wagering because doing so would be in conflict with federal law.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 allows sports betting in Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon. New Jersey attempted to challenge the law as unconstitutional.

In 2011 New Jersey voters approved a constitutional amendment to permit sports wagering. In 2012 a law was signed by Gov. Chris Christie enacting it and rules were formulated for sports wagering, all in anticipation that the federal ban could be lifted.

“We will be working with our legal team and advocates to determine the best course of action moving forward,” Sweeney said.  “New Jersey has been held hostage by this unfair law and the national sports associations long enough. It's time to bring sports wagering to New Jersey."

Pallone and LoBiondo said the Supreme Court acted in error.

“The Supreme Court should have heard this case given the importance of the practical and constitutional issues at hand,” they said.  “We believe that our state should be allowed to move forward with sports wagering as the people of New Jersey clearly support it.”

See related stories:

The miracle we call the Constitution

At Large with Tom Williams > > May 1, 2011

Congressmen vow to continue fight for sports betting in N.J.

 Despite federal ban, state is accepting sports wagering license applications

LoBiondo bill would bring sports betting to NJ

LoBiondo working in Congress to legalize sports betting

 Assembly passes sports betting bill

State takes step closer to sports betting 

Voters statewide say yes to sports betting

Sports betting is interstate commerce 


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