NEW JERSEY 101.5

New Jersey is doubling down on an appeals court that recently ruled against the state's push for sports betting.

Flickr User Tjschoss

The state has asked for a rehearing before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled in September that federal law can block states from legalizing or regulating sports wagering. The three-judge panel's 2-1 decision sided with the NCAA and the nation's major athletic leagues, but New Jersey's new request would bring the case before the entire bench.

"We already have one judge on our side," said state Senator Raymond Lesniak (D-Union), one of the most outspoken supporters of sports betting in the New Jersey Legislature. "This is purely an issue of the U.S. Constitution that Congress cannot discriminate and have one state have an advantage over any other state."

Sports betting is currently allowed in four states - Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon; they were "grandfathered in" with the federal statute.

"On Super Bowl week…you cannot get a room in Las Vegas, and Atlantic City is a ghost town," Lesniak added. "That's not right."

New Jersey voters approved sports betting on the ballot in 2011. Governor Chris Christie signed the movement into law nearly two years ago, but the sports leagues filed a lawsuit claiming New Jersey's actions would harm sports in America.