According to ABC News, there has been a stunning turn of events in New Jersey’s quest to allow sports gambling within its borders. U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp had previously stated that a written opinion would be published today deciding whether New Jersey could allows sports gambling without regulation. Instead, District Judge Shipp entered an order granting an extension to both parties to file more briefs and scheduled oral argument for October 31st in Trenton, NJ. New Jersey previously attempted to challenge the federal law that limit the states’s ability to regulate sports gambling when Governor Chris Christie signed a sports wagering bill in 2012. The bill was introduced after New Jersey voters overwhelmingly supported the legalization of sports gambling in a 2011 referendum. After the NCAA, the MLB, the NFL, the NBA, and the NHL brought suit in federal court, Shipp granted a permanent injunction against New Jersey, holding that the federal government’s restrictions were constitutional. Governor Christie has attempted an end-around on the ruling by instructing the New Jersey Attorney General to not prosecute sports gambling violations, which would allow sports gambling without state regulation. Currently only Nevada and three other states are legally allowed to regulate sports gambling, but a ruling for New Jersey could open the doors for unregulated sports gambling in other states.
Jason Fixelle is the Sports Highlight Editor for the Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law and a current second year student at Harvard Law School (Class of 2016).