Sports betting in NJ in under a year? US Supreme Court strikes ban
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has struck down a federal law that bars gambling on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states, giving states the go-ahead to legalize betting on sports.
The Supreme Court on Monday struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. The 1992 law barred state-authorized sports gambling with some exceptions. It made Nevada the only state where a person could wager on the results of a single game.
One research firm estimated before the ruling that if the Supreme Court were to strike down the law, 32 states would likely offer sports betting within five years.
The court's decision came in a case from New Jersey, which has fought for years to legalize gambling on sports at casinos and racetracks in the state.
Monmouth Park has been preparing for the day it could offer sports betting and CEO Dennis Drazin was excited about the propsect of actual wagering at the Oceanport park.
“This is the culmination of the hard-work and dedication of a large group of individuals, all of whom contributed to today’s victory and will undoubtedly contribute to our future success. We started this fight back in 2012 and are grateful that the Supreme Court has recognized that we’ve been right all along. We can now shift our focus on commencing sports betting, which will be off and running at Monmouth Park as soon as possible."
New Jersey's current governor, Phil Murphy and former Gov. Chris Christie were both pleased with the ruling.
“I am thrilled to see the Supreme Court finally side with New Jersey and strike down the arbitrary ban on sports betting imposed by Congress decades ago," Murphy said in a statement.
He also recognized the work of Christie and and former state Senator Ray Lesniak's work for legalized sports betting to New Jersey. "I look forward to working with the Legislature to enact a law authorizing and regulating sports betting in the very near future," Murphy wrote.
Congressman Frank Pallone, whose district includes Monmouth Park, called the ruling a win for the entire state.
"I have long believed that New Jersey should have the opportunity to proceed with sports betting. Now that the Supreme Court has struck down this unlawful and confusing law, it is time for Congress to move the GAME Act forward to ensure that consumer protections are in place in any state that decides to implement sports betting," Pallone said in a statement.
Senate President Steve Sweeney praised the ruling in a statement Monday morning.
“This is a decisive and extremely gratifying victory for New Jersey. We are on the right side of history with this case with a decision that will allow us to follow through with legally-sanctioned sports betting," he said. "We can now seize the opportunity with a new sector of gaming that will help create jobs, generate economic growth and be an important boost to the casino industry and horse racing. Sports betting is already a common practice and making it legal is the most responsible and most beneficial thing to do.
Sweeney said that New Jersey is "positioned to capitalize on the ruling quickly and that he expects the sports betting facilities to become operational this year." He also pledged to quickly move legislation to make sports betting possible.
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