New Jersey’s effort to offer legalized sports betting was given new life Wednesday when a federal appeals court agreed to reconsider its decision to prohibit gambling on games. The move vacated an Aug. 25 decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia that upheld a lower-court ruling that had voided state legislation on sports gambling. The judges held then, in a 2-to-1 decision, that New Jersey’s efforts to allow casinos and racetracks to take bets violated the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or Paspa, which was passed in 1992.
“We acknowledge New Jersey’s salutary purpose in attempting to revive its troubled casino and racetrack industries,” the opinion said. “We now turn to the primary question before us: whether the 2014 law violates Paspa. We hold that it does.”
But now, in a process known as en banc, at least 12 of the 23 judges in the Third Circuit will rehear oral arguments and review supplemental briefs. Judge Marjorie O. Rendell and Judge Maryanne Trump Barry were in the majority of the August opinion and could not vote on a rehearing. They will participate, however, according to the order issued Wednesday.
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