01/23/2013 1:03PM

U.S. Department of Justice to challenge New Jersey's sports betting law

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The U.S. Department of Justice has told a New Jersey court that it intends to intervene in a case challenging the constitutionality of a law passed in the state authorizing betting on sports, according to paperwork filed by the department Tuesday.

The department will join a coalition of sports leagues in challenging the law, bringing the weight of the federal government to bear on the case. In the filing, the department said that it intends to “intervene in this action to defend the constitutionality of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act,” a 1992 federal law prohibiting betting on sports in any jurisdiction that did not allow the practice prior to 1991.

A department spokesperson declined to comment on the case Wednesday.

The New Jersey law would limit sports-betting operations to racetracks and casinos. Officials at Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands have said they plan to open sports-betting operations if the state prevails in the case.

New Jersey’s attorney general is expected to argue that the 1992 federal act is unconstitutional because it carved out exceptions for some states and infringes on states’ rights.

Several years ago, Delaware passed a law authorizing sports betting, and it was immediately challenged by the country’s college and professional sports leagues. A U.S. appeals court judge ultimately ruled that Delaware could only offer three-team parlay bets, citing a 1976 lottery game the state offered tied to the results of three sports games. Any other game would violate the 1992 act, the judge ruled.

New Jersey did not allow any kind of sports betting prior to 1991.

Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
Nj and other states should challenge the federal gov on the basis of equality.if its legal in Vegas it can be legal in other states.why should Vegas enjoy a monopoly over sports betting if you can't gamble on sports then ban it in Vegas too.considering that the gov is already in the gambling business up to its neck through the various lotteries these distinctions seem ipocritical .
Scott More than 1 year ago
Does this reek of good old Harry Reid? Let's protect the Vegas monopoly!
Dean More than 1 year ago
Real Funny how these Republicans in office are always saying they want smaller government yet it appears that this is only the case when they agree with the issue. If they do not agree they are all for government intervention and laws that block what they do not agree with...Tis Tis!!! Regulate, Tax it and let the people choose if when and where they will gamble ect.....
Keith More than 1 year ago
Of course, there is always Atlantic City! You don't think Donald Trump and company are going to give up their share of the action, do you?
Robert Clayton More than 1 year ago
No I don't.....Atlantic City (NJ) has exactly a 0% of winning
russell More than 1 year ago
I hope NJ wins. The whole issue is so backwards. Almost every single European country allows sports betting. Instead only 1 state is allowed Sports betting. How backwards.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Russell, Here in North Carolina I can't even buy the Form, let alone get a bet in. I just love these slimers in government protecting me from myself! Why don't they go catch crooks?
violet johnson More than 1 year ago
" why don't they go catch crooks " Chad..if they caught all the crooks their be no goverment VQ
jay More than 1 year ago
This country is backwards, and it's because of the religious right foisting their archaic beliefs on the rest of society. The professional sports leagues are such hypocrites. Why do you think the NFL gets so upset when teams are not upfront with their public injury reports? Because gamblers need accurate information to bet on the games. Without gambling, the NFL would lose half of its fans. I moved from NY to North Carolina and I can't even use my TwinSpires account any more. So now I have an offshore account, and the government and horse racing both lose out on my money. I can't stand self- righteous, bible thumping, phonies telling me what I can and can't do with my money. It's time we moved from the 19th to the 21st century.
PennNatRick More than 1 year ago
More money leaving the US going into off-shore gambling sites. Christie wants to keep the $$ at least in NJ. If you figure the US can come up with a way to legalize it and with proper tax guidelines people will keep the money in the US...it would be a win-win. The state/feds get revenue from the taxes from some of the winnings. Props for Christie to help find a way to bring revenue to the state.
Mark Fisher More than 1 year ago
If there was a time that our Goverment could get out of the way and let a state that needs to make this law happens its now and in NJ. How many times can we let old out dated laws dictate what should happen TODAY and NOW. A law from 1992 or 1976 maybe useless intodays world. WAKE UP! FIGHT LIKE HELL New JERSEY!!!