12/27/2012 12:15PM

New Jersey sports betting law can be challenged, judge rules

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A New Jersey judge has ruled that four major professional sports organizations and the NCAA have standing to challenge a law that authorizes sports betting in the state.

In making the Dec. 21 ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Shipp rejected arguments from New Jersey seeking dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the leagues and the NCAA. Major League Baseball, the NBA, the NFL, the NHL, and the NCAA filed suit in August challenging the 2012 law, contending that it violates a 1992 federal law prohibiting sports betting in any state that did not allow the practice prior to 1991.

The New Jersey law would allow sports betting at Atlantic City casinos and state racetracks. Monmouth Park has said that it plans to seek a license to conduct sports betting as early as Jan. 9, the earliest that the New Jersey Gaming Commission has said it will issue a license. Monmouth may limit players to gambling with fake money until the lawsuit is resolved.

Judge Shipp has given the U.S. Attorney General until Jan. 20 to file a brief challenging the law. The next hearing will focus on the constitutionality of the law legalizing the practice.