Major Setback for New Jersey Sports Betting Challenge

Advocates of expanded sports betting suffered a setback yesterday when the acting Solicitor General recommended that the Supreme Court decline to hear New Jersey’s appeal in its challenge to the federal government.

The recommendation substantially diminishes the odds that the high court will agree to hear the case, but the decision will only further ramp up pressure on sports leagues to address the issue and build momentum for a legislative solution, a panel of experts told the East Coast Gaming Congress in Atlantic City on Wednesday.

“I think the expectation was that the Justice Department would say ‘No you should not take the case,’ so I don’t think the decision was really surprising for folks who are close to the issue,” said Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US.

While Solicitor General Jeff Wall stated that New Jersey’s latest appeal to allow sports wagering through a partial repeal of state laws and regulations governing the activity failed to raise any valid constitutional issue, he reckoned that a full decriminalization of the activity – the so-called “nuclear option” – remained an option.

More at CDC Gaming Reports

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