New Jersey Rails against Federal Sportsbetting Law

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Governor and attorney general appeal federal sportsbetting ban.

Governor Chris Christie and the New Jersey attorney general have filed an appeal with the US Supreme Court to allow racetracks and Atlantic City casinos to offer sportsbetting along with their existing services. The appeal seeks to overturn a 22-year old American gambling law.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 prohibited sportsbetting in all but four American states: Delaware, Nevada, Oregon and Wyoming. The attorney general has openly questioned the validity of the law, with attorney Ted Olson stating that “federal law does not directly prohibit sports wagering where it occurs in a state in which it is legal.”

Potential to save flailing Atlantic City?

New Jersey’s gambling market expanded last year when it became one of only two US states to license online casinos in America. Aside from the online industry’s recent success, land-based casinos in New Jersey have been suffering financially for years. Last year saw Atlantic City pull in its lowest revenue in 22 years as well as two of its twelve casinos, the Revel and the Atlantic Club, file for bankruptcy protection.

With the former East Coast entertainment capital in the doldrums, some politicians and industry leaders see sportsbetting as a way to bring people back into the casinos. New Jersey has a long and hard legal battle in front of it, but if successful we could see a revival in “America’s favorite playground.”

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