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Legal Sports Betting in New Jersey by the NFL Season?

Chris Christie US governor gambling

US gambling law expert reports that there is about 40% chance that punters will be able to wager on major sports events from late summer at Monmouth Park in New Jersey.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals hears the case known as “Christie II”, which would enable sports betting in New Jersey for casinos and race track as well as former race track sites. This might be a case involving the Garden State only however the decision could affect the legal stance regarding offline and online sportsbooks in the US.

  • Sports booking in NJ might be legalized by August  
  • No constitutional issues regarding the case 
  • Sports betting handling several hundred million dollars

A favorable ruling might still trigger a rehearing, but if the case survives, you might go to Oceanport to place a bet on the first game of the NFL season. Casinos in Atlantic City and maybe in the neighboring states might join the action relatively soon, and the major leagues might also stop opposing sports wagering once they got their shares too.

The expert is optimistic about sports betting in New Jersey

Attorney Daniel Wallach, who is recognized as a major authority regarding US gambling laws, is tracking the “Christie II” case and he thinks that the situation is much more encouraging for the state of New Jersey than it was last year. In 2014 “Christie I” was discussed by the court, however submitting that case was a longshot at best. “In Christie I, New Jersey had to convince the court that PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) was unconstitutional,” Wallach explained according to Asbury Park Press. “Toppling a statue of constitutional grounds is a very high bar.”

After the Third Circuit rejected this argument by the Garden State, Governor Chris Christie signed a bill that partly abolished the restrictions on sports betting in New Jersey, permitting it for casinos, race tracks and former race track properties. That was back in October, and now, when articulating Christie II, the state actually used language from the ruling of the Third Circuit last year. Wallach expressed that with the new case there are no such problems as were with Christie I.

Daniel Wallach gambling lawyer

Daniel Wallach, described as a “gaming law guru” by Michael McCann (Photo: Becker & Poliakoff, Legal and Business Strategists)

“This time around there’s no constitutional issues,” Wallach argued. “New Jersey just has to convince the court that the partial appeal law is not tantamount to an authorization of sports betting (by the state). And right now, based on my takeaway from the Third Circuit oral arguments, which I attended, I think there was a lot of good that came out of the oral argument from New Jersey’s perspective.” If the Third Circuit decides in favor of the state, there will come possibly a bid from all the major sport leagues and the NCAA plus the Department of Justice to reconsider the case. So, Christie II has to survive all this to enable sports betting at Monmoth Park Racetrack in Oceanport.

Monopoly will not last, but will be beneficial

The Monmoth Park facility is capable of serving as a sports betting location right from the start, if the case stands in front of the Third Circuit, and that could provide them some kind of a monopoly regarding wagering on sports in New Jersey, and actually they could be in a very advantageous position considering bet on sports in the US. Casinos in Atlantic City obviously would apply for a share in the business, and the Third Circuit’s favorable decision might trigger similar changes in regulations in other states like Delaware and Pennsylvania.

“The monopoly will be short lived, but it doesn’t mean it won’t be lucrative,” Wallach commented Monmouth Park’s expectations. “It will be a juggernaut and they will reap the benefits of it. First one out of the gate gets a competitive advantage that may last for a while.” The case is something like a key frontier in the campaign for legalizing sports betting in the United States, and therefore it attracted some attention around the whole country.

While the major leagues, apart from the NBA, categorically oppose any betting on sports, they all run daily fantasy services that include wagering too. Fantasy games not just tie fans closely to the leagues but they also serve as considerable contributors towards the revenues of the major leagues. “The only difference is the leagues are already profiting from one and they’re not profiting from the other,” compared Wallach fantasy games to actual sports booking.

He added, “So as long as the leagues can’t get a cut from sports betting they’re going to be opposed to it. So I think it’s somewhat hypocritical of the leagues to embrace daily fantasy sports while opposing sports betting.” He also revealed that while fantasy sports handle four billion dollars altogether in a year in the United States, the figure regarding sports betting is several hundred billion dollars. Which means that once legalized the latter will dominate revenues easily, nevertheless fantasy game is “the greatest fan engagement tool ever introduced”.

Monmouth Park racing New Jersey

Monmouth Park -Oceanport, New Jersey (Photo: racingdudes)

So, according to the best-case scenario, you will be able to place a bet at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey as early as the start of the NFL season. The kickoff match will feature the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Super Bowl winners New England Patriots by the way, which will be certainly interesting for any fantasy football user, but still definitely a ball game to bet on.

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