New Jersey bid for sports betting dealt a significant blow

News on 24 May 2017

On the behest of the U.S. Supreme Court, Acting U.S. Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall, on review of the merits of [New Jersey Governor] Chris Christie, et al. v. NCAA, et al.; and New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association v. NCAA, et al, has recommended the appeal be denied.

Walls opinion will be a welcome development for the four major pro sports leagues and the NCAA whose legal action against New Jersey has so far prevented the state from allowing sports betting (see previous reports).

The Acting U.S. Solicitor General’s opinion is considered a significant blow to New Jersey’s long-running efforts, industry observers note, as the Courts traditionally follows the Solicitor General’s recommendation.

But Miami-based sports law attorney, Daniel Wallach, believes there may still be hope, saying:

“This is not your ordinary case in which the issues are limited to a specific controversy before the court. The larger issue that has been framed here is the ability of the federal government to interfere in states’ decision-making when it comes to repealing state laws.”

And, as a Washington Post report points out, “Attorneys for New Jersey, led by former U.S. solicitor general Ted Olsen, have argued the federal government is overstepping its authority by stopping the state from lifting its bans on sports betting.”.

The Supreme Court’s decision on whether to hear the case is anticipated by the end of June.

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