Injunction Halts New Jersey Sports Betting Launch
US District Court Judge, Michael Shipp, has placed a temporary restraining order on the Oceanport Racetrack that has effectively prevented them from taking bets on the weekend’s NFL games.
Both the Oceanport Racetrack and Governor Chris Christies were named in a complaint filed by the NFL, NBA NHL, MLB and the NCAA. The complaint alleges that the state’s expanded gambling plans directly run afoul of the federal ban on all sports betting within the state of New Jersey.
The restraining order issued by Judge Michael Shipp has halted the implementation of sports betting within the state until such as time as the matter has the chance to be scrutinized in a full hearing.
On Thursday, both parties completed their various legal filings to the Judge in the dispute. Attorneys for Governor Christies have claimed that the operator-regulated sports betting at the Monmouth Park Racetrack complies with last years ruling by the federal appeals court. The ruling that stipulated no state regulated sports betting could take place.
According to the various sports leagues as well as key members within the industry and Government, New Jersey has been trying to traverse the 1992 Federal law that specifically restricts betting to Delaware, Oregon, Montana and Nevada.
A vast majority of New Jersey voters approved the 2011 sports gambling referendum which subsequently led Christies to sign a sports betting bill a few months later. However, as it is now, the sports leagues were successful in suing the state which temporarily halted the implementation.
However, New Jersey changed their strategy following an unsuccessful appeal filed in the US Supreme court, which declined to take the case. Later, the New Jersey Attorney General said the state would not prosecute any racetracks or casinos that accepted sports wagers, decriminalizing sports betting, and allowing bets to be made on professional and college sports games.
Following the decriminalization, the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB as well as the NCAA filed another complaint that said New Jersey is “in clear and flagrant violation of federal law to accomplish what it unsuccessfully attempted to do nearly three years ago: sponsor, operate, advertise promote, license or authorize gambling on amateur and professional sports at state-licensed casinos and horse racetracks.”
In the court papers filed by state attorneys, Monmouth Park and the Oceanport Racetrack, they said that preventing the new source of revenue would be dealing them a “death knell”.
But the case is far from over, Judge Michael Shipp will now hear it in court and, even though a hearing date hasn’t been set, state officials have said that they expect it to be soon and, it doesn’t matter who wins the case, it’s likely that it will head to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
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