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Major Sports Leagues Sue to Ban NJ Sports Betting

State Sen. Raymond Lesniak, the legislator leading the charge for legalized sports gambling, welcomes the lawsuit.

The four major professional American sports leagues and the NCAA have filed a lawsuit to block sports wagering in New Jersey.

AOL/Sporting News.com's Fanhouse site reports that Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League and the National Hockey League joined the NCAA, the governing body of collegiate sports, in filing a complaint in federal court in Trenton Tuesday to block proposed legislation that would legalize sports betting in the Garden State.

A news release put out by the NBA states the following:

The leagues and the NCAA assert that the state’s recently announced decision to offer sports betting violates long-standing federal law. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PASPA”) became law in 1992 and prohibits states from operating a lottery or betting scheme based on pro or college games. This law is also known as the “Bradley Act” for its proponent, then New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley."

The law provided a one-year window, from January 1, 1993 to January 1, 1994, during which New Jersey was afforded the opportunity to authorize sports betting. The state declined that opportunity and has been barred by federal law from conducting sports gambling.

State Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak (D-Union County), the bill's primary sponsor, welcomed the news of the lawsuit, saying it will provide proponents of sports gambling in New Jersey with the opportunity for "our day in court to prove that the federal ban on sports wagering is unconstitutional.

"By moving forward with a law to legalize sports wagering in New Jersey—a law that was approved overwhelmingly by the voting public of New Jersey—we drew a line in the sand and dared the sports organizations to cross it," Lesniak said in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon.

"Their lawsuit today means they’ve played right into our hands, and now they have the burden of defending the constitutionality of an unfair sports wagering ban which gives four states in the country—and off-shore betting operators and organized crime—a monopoly to the detriment of everybody else."

A majority of New Jersey voters—roughly 65 percent—.

Porterincollingswood August 08, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Not sure what the play is here - the same court that decided the Delaware case has jurisdiction over this new one. What's changed? I find it odd that I can open up a NJ state run and administered account to bet on horse racing (and it's very good, I might add) but we can't be on sports. As usual, we're living with the mistakes of dummy NJ legislators of yore - we could have had legalized sports gambling and they refused to pass it (1992?). And, as usual, we're now paying for that mistake.
Joe August 08, 2012 at 05:30 PM
"The sponsorship, operation, advertising, promotion, licensure and authorization of sports gambling in New Jersey would irreparably harm amateur and professional sports by fostering suspicion that individual plays and final scores of games may have been influenced by factors other than honest athletic competition." Honest athletic competition? Are these guys serious? Awfully high horse on which these guys sit, especially considering the rampant steriod use in baseball and football (and probably the others too) while they look the other way. They want to talk about the "character and integrity" of sporting events being threatened? What about the "gangsta" persona forwarded by the NBA and the NFL? What about the way the NHL constantly protects its biggest stars and favorite franchises from, well, everything? College football? Wow; they might be the most hypocritical of them all. Ohio State, Penn State, Miami; these are all bastions of character and integrity, right? Only God knows what some of the southern schools (Alabama, Texas, LSU, etc) get away with and are allowed to get away with in the name of the almight dollar. How about you guys clean up your sports and then talk to the rest of us about character and integrity.
Matt Skoufalos (Editor) August 08, 2012 at 05:52 PM
You can't tell me that any league that creates a channel like the RedZone—which is the ultimate fantasy sports fanservice move—is above gambling. Forbes says that by 2017 fantasy sports will approach a $2 billion annual revenue industry. Are all these people playing just for fun? http://onforb.es/Ntl3oP

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