The state of New Jersey’s appeal against the negative ruling of Judge Michael Shipp on its attempt to launch intrastate sports betting despite the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act is to go ahead sooner than expected.
The PASPA is a federal law that restricts sports betting to just four US states, and New Jersey is seeking to amend or overthrow its provisions by allowing sports bets within the state, a move that could provide some financial relief for Atlantic City’s struggling casinos.
The implementation of the New Jersey legislation was opposed by the national sports leagues and the US Department of Justice, and in the first round of legal argument New Jersey lost, triggering the current appeal.
Following some debate on the timetable for the appeal, on Friday the Third Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to New Jersey’s proposal that a 24-day schedule should be sufficient to enable the state to present its arguments, with a further 24 days allowed for the sports leagues and the Department of Justice to present theirs, followed by a final seven days for the state to respond.
The action starts again on April 29 with the New Jersey appeal, so the riposte from the opposition will take place on May 23, and by the end of May the state’s final response will be heard.
That may not be the end of the matter, however; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has publicly served notice that if the appeal fails he is prepared to take the issue all the way to the US Supreme Court.
The Department of Justice and the sports leagues are equally determined to fight on due to the widespread implications of a New Jersey victory which could encourage other states to reject the PASPA.
There is clearly a long run ahead for this issue.