08/09/2016 12:52PM

Court rejects New Jersey’s attempt to legalize sports betting


The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled that a New Jersey law seeking the legalization of sports betting violates a 1992 federal prohibition of the practice, the third time the state’s effort has been blocked by a court.

The appeals court upheld a lower court ruling that the state’s most recent law, passed in 2014, violated the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, a federal law that prohibits sports betting except in Nevada and in limited circumstances in three other states.

The 2014 legislation was challenged by most of the professional sports leagues and by the NCAA. The legislation was supported by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and by legislators with ties to Atlantic City, where casinos have been unable to compete with the legion of casinos that now operate on the Eastern Seaboard in the wake of widespread legalization by states in the area.

The judges ruled 10-2 in favor of upholding the U.S. District Court’s ruling. Any appeal of the Tuesday ruling would have to be made to the U.S. Supreme Court.

After the 2014 legislation was passed, Monmouth Park reached an agreement with William Hill, a British bookmaking company, to build and operate a sports book in its grandstand. Monmouth officials have said that sports betting would provide a new revenue stream for the track, which has struggled financially.