DOJ Opposes Inclusion of New Jersey Sports Betting Vote

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Justice Department New Jersey Sports Betting

A letter in opposition to legalized sports betting in the state of New Jersey was sent from the Department of Justice to US District Judge Garrett E. Brown, Jr., as part of the DOJ's defense against the court challenge to overturn the Federal ban on expanded sports betting in the state brought by the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association (

Earlier this month the Garden State passed new sports betting legislation that would allow some 8 million plus residents to gamble on sporting events from the comfort of their homes and in Atlantic City casinos.  The measure still requires a signature from Governor Chris Christie. 

DOJ attorney Peter D. Leary is claiming that iMEGA, et al's request to supplement the record with a copy of SCR 132 - the sports betting ballot referendum bill that recently passed the NJ legislature by three-fifths vote - is not warranted.

Mr. Leary claims the successful New Jersey sports betting ballot legislation is irrelevant because it simply "might give the State Legislature the power to possibly pass state laws related to sports betting". Mr. Leary claims that a favorable judgement would not remedy the plaintiffs injuries - i.e. the inability to offer state-regulated and taxed sports betting within the state of New Jersey.

iMEGA and New Jersey's attorneys have argued that the law enforcing the Federal sports betting ban - the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) - unconstitutionally restrains NJ from authorizing its own state-regulated sports betting system, according it the same right as other states such as Nevada and Delaware to license and tax the activity.

Mr. Leary also maintains that iMEGA and the parties from NJ should not be permitted to even raise these issues in Federal court, claiming they lack the standing to do so.

- Staff

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