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Brennan Jr on Sports Betting Suit: ‘New Jersey Will Win Against Sports Leagues in a Blowout’
Joe Brennan Jr. of the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association reiterated to Gambling911.com on Tuesday New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak’s remarks that the professional sports leagues and NCAA had “taken the bait” where legalizing sports betting in the Garden State is concerned.
The NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL, along with the NCAA each filed a complaint against the state to try and prevent New Jersey from legalizing sports wagering. Brennan’s organization has been actively working with the Garden State to develop the legal framework for regulating sports betting in addition to other forms of gambling online, including poker.
“Ray Lesniak is right, the (professional) leagues and NCAA have played into New Jersey’s hand,” Brennan Jr. stated. “It is clear from looking at the leagues filing that they do not have a constitutional argument leg to stand on. (They) keep falling back on the emotional argument of protecting the integrity of the game.”
He added: “By licensing and regulating gaming, New Jersey is doing more to protect the integrity of the games there than the leagues and NCAA have recognized.
“The leagues should be thanking Governor Christie for taking this step instead of standing in his way with this frivolous lawsuit.”
Christie, for his part, addressed the suit during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
“Listen, there’s a federal law that was passed that restricts the states that can participate in sports gambling to just four states. We believe that that law is unconstitutional. We put the question before the voters of New Jersey. The voters of New Jersey said they wanted to allow sports gambling in New Jersey.”
“We’re moving ahead. We issued regulations to allow for the issuance of licenses for sports gambling and once we did that the sports leagues have now sued and so the battle is engaged.”
“I have a conference call at 5 p.m. this afternoon with the attorney general and the director of the division of law to talk about the next steps that we’ll take legally to defend our position.”
“I think we’re going to win. We’re going to win because I don’t believe that the federal government has the right to decide that only certain states can have sports gambling.”
Christie insisted that the federal government does not have the right to decide what happens within the borders of a state when it comes to the issue of legalized sports betting.
“It happens every day all over the state of Nevada and three other states and I don’t understand why New Jersey would make it so much worse. I think ultimately it’s going to be found unconstitutional. We’re going to have a long road ahead of us in the courts, but we’re prepared for the fight.”
To that extent, Brennan Jr. offered the following bold prediction: “New Jersey will win in a blowout.”
He added: “The leagues cannot demonstrate any irreparable harm that will be done to them by New Jersey licensing sports betting at the casinos and tracks.”
But what about the National Football League’s plans to host the Super Bowl in New Jersey in 2014?
Christie addressed this issue specifically.
“We’re well along the way, us and New York, in terms of planning the Super Bowl. I have no concerns. Have I gotten any direct assurances from Commissioner Goodell, no I haven’t. But I saw him last week, or two weeks ago when I was in Idaho, he certainly didn’t raise the issue with me in our conversations about holding the Super Bowl, so I think we’ll be fine.
“I think we can walk and chew gum at the same time. We can prepare for the Super Bowl and do a great job with the Super Bowl and we’ll have our separate legal fight over whether or not sports gambling should be legal in more than four states in the United States.”
- Chris Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher
Submitted by C Costigan on Tue, 08/07/2012 - 18:55