The state of New Jersey has been tirelessly waging a battle in the federal court to legalise sports betting, but the much awaited judgement, which was anticipated in the third week of June seems to be delayed further.
Since, federal court judgments are not typically governed by procedures like deadline, it is not very clear as to when the judgment would be pronounced in this case, though it is now over three months since the judges heard the final arguments.
The Much Awaited Judgement
The judgement, which is likely to have a repercussion, nationally, is awaited with bated breath as the monetary stakes involved in the betting is monumental.
Not only would New Jersey act quickly to legalise sports betting in the aftermath of a favourable verdict from the federal court, but all the other states would also most certainly take New Jersey’s lead and bring laws to make sports betting legal in their states.
Since the losers in this case would be bookies and in turn the sports leagues, they are gearing up for a long battle in the courts.
Incidentally, it is the sports leagues and the bookies who are more confident of getting a verdict in their favour from the federal court.
A Brief Genesis of the Case
Though the turf war between the state and the private leagues could even be centuries old, it was in 1992 when at the behest of sports leagues, Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).
This Act expressly prohibited the state from enacting new laws to legalise sports betting.
Thus, sports betting managed to be in the domain of private players, barring in Nevada where already sports betting was legalised.
It was then in 2012, when New Jersey tried to make laws to legalise sports betting, unmindful of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.
As anticipated, the sports leagues took the State of New Jersey to the court, where the state questioned the constitutional validity of the original 1992 Act.
Initial Setback and a Reprieve for New Jersey
The federal court was quick to point out that the PASPA 1992 was indeed constitutional.
But when New Jersey state appealed against the verdict, the court ruled that while PASPA was constitutional, it was the State’s discretion to repeal the Act if it deemed it necessary.
When New Jersey government modified the sports betting laws in 2014, allowing betting only at casinos and race fields, the sports leagues went on an appeal again.
Perplexing Failure of the Government
Though the government has tried to bring in the necessary changes with the view of regulating the state’s rightful income as well as to arrest illegal activities, which in turn were nurturing various kinds of crimes, powerful lobbyists have not allowed the government to implement these laws.
Interestingly, the thinking even now is that the judgment would go in favour of the sports leagues.
However, as both sides are bent on stamping their supremacy, whatever ruling is pronounced, appeal against it is imminent.