New Jersey Sports Wagering Issue Heating Up

On July 10, 2013, in Gambling Headlines, by Bud Thornton

State of New JerseyGovernor Chris Christie of New Jersey and his high power… high profile… lawyers have presented their case to a three judge panel in Philadelphia in their states bid to secure legal wagering on sports to be practiced at their casinos and racetracks.

It is a big issue with mega-bucks riding on the outcome. Political careers are also said to be weighing in the balance over the outcome of these proceedings. What Christie and his staff are actually doing is taking on Las Vegas and the state of Nevada and all of power and wealth that the names imply.

Should the outcome of the New Jersey decision affect Nevada?  Should to kings of the desert even care what happens in Atlantic City?  Both of those questions are open to debate, but one thing is certain.  Las Vegas doesn’t need to publicity. Arguments brought to bear against gambling in New Jersey will almost always reflect directly on Nevada.

One of the big time attorneys brought in by the NFL Commissioner’s office, Paul Clement brought up the issue of exemptions to the federal ban on sports wagering.  Clement, along with Justice Department lawyer Paul Fishman told the court during oral arguments that is the issue of exemptions proved to be too complicated, the simplest solution would be to strike the exemptions.”

Hear now boys!…..did ya’ll just say that the exemptions currently granted to Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana should be revoked?  Oh my, now wouldn’t that cause a fine ruckus out West?

It is not likely to happen. But, it is a scary proposition and it shows the industry just what the Department of Justice would like to do if they had their ‘druthers’.

The state of New Jersey shifted tactics just days before the trial began thanks to a decision by the Supreme Court in the matter of Shelby County vs. Holder.  The high court decision could change the complexion of the issue for both sides.

The state now argues that the Shelby County decision establishes that the ‘equal sovereignty’ doctrine….the principle that the states are to be treated equally from a federalism standpoint…. will apply in a broader context than just in cases where, historically at least, new states were admitted to the Union.

Justice Ginsburg even went so far as to point out the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 as an example of a statute that fails to treat states equally under the law.

 

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