The State of New Jersey appealed to the United States Supreme Court in what is thought to be a long shot in its effort to overturn a ban by the federal government on sports betting in 46 of the 50 states. The state has asked the high court to declare the federal ban unconstitutional.
The state has a ruling from a federal appeals panel that went against them and due to that is appealing to the nation’s highest court asking them to consider two questions.
The question are if the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection act usurps a state’s authority and is a violation of the 10th amendment and does granting permission in only four states to conduct betting on sports violate equal sovereignty?
The federal panel ruled that the law in New Jersey allowing betting on sports conflicted with its federal law limiting sports betting in only four states – Oregon, Nevada, Montana and Delaware.
In 1991, New Jersey had a chance to become the just the fifth state to have legalized sports gambling but did not act upon that opportunity during a prescribed period of time.
The odds of the Supreme Court agreeing to hear the argument are low and the odds are even much longer that they would side with New Jersey.
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Legal experts said the Supreme Court has been favoring the rights of states of late and even though they consider it a long shot for New Jersey, some believe the big boards might one day be in the Atlantic City casinos and other places throughout New Jersey.
The state has sued the four major professional sports leagues. The NFL, MLB, NBA , NHL and the NCAA say the perception of the integrity of the game could be compromised by betting that is state sanctioned on the sports. The U.S. Department of Justice has joined in on the litigation siding with the four sports leagues and the NCAA.
New Jersey voters, in a referendum that was non-binding in 2011 approved legal sports betting in the state. The proponents of sports betting believe it will help the 11 casinos in Atlantic City and the four racetracks in the state.
The supporters said that sports betting would also provide new sources of revenue from a large pool of money currently flowing to illegal bookmakers that are allied with organized crime.
The overall opinion is that the state has less than a 50% chance of the Supreme Court hearing its case and even less of a chance of winning.
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