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Solicitor General’s Office Met With NJ Attorneys Over Sports Betting

Written by:
Guest
Published on:
Apr/11/2017

New Jersey has been trying for the past eight years to get the US courts to allow legalized sports betting in the state.

NorthJersey.com has confirmed that staff of the U.S. Solicitor General’s office met with attorneys representing both New Jersey and the sports leagues trying to prevent sports betting in the Garden State.

Attorney Ted Olson represents the state while Michael Griffinger was on hand for the top Trenton legislators, and Ron Riccio represented the state thoroughbred horsemen. Attorneys for the NFL, NCAA, MLB, NBA, and NHL met separately with the Solicitor General’s staff.

“Everybody seems to agree that this is a fascinating case,” said Monmouth Park operator Dennis Drazin. “We’ll see what happens.”

Drazin told NorthJersey.com he does not expect a decision until late fall.

From NorthJersey.com:

Drazin said that ultimately, the Court could either rule the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 unconstitutional or it could rule that it is constitutional but New Jersey has successfully come up with a workaround. He said that the former would offer “a quicker opportunity” for other states to come aboard.

We agreed that if the Court does agree to take the case, it presents a challenge for the various commissioners who support legalized sports betting – but only with federal, not state, oversight. Do they risk losing it all, or do they ask Congress to step in and give them federal regulation?

Brian Saady, author of the upcoming three-book series, Rackets, and a special contributor to Gambling911.com, suggested back in February that we could witness a seismic shift in position with the US President Donald Trump administration.

In particular, he noted, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher partner, Miguel Estrada, had been the frontrunner for the U.S. Solicitor General position.

From Saady:

That firm has received over $6 million to represent New Jersey's challenge against PASPA. In fact, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher has been somewhat of a nemesis to the NFL. Their firm represented the NFL Players' Union during the players' strike of 2011 and an anti-trust civil suit of 2009. In addition, their firm issued this report that was critical of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) due to its burdens on financial institutions.

Estrada never became Solicitor General.  Instead, one Jeffrey Wall took the office early last month and was expected to file a brief in May making it likely Supreme Court rules on N.J. sports betting by end of June.

On the surface, the Trump Administration would seem friendly towards gambling as casino billionaire Steve Wynn has been named RNC Finance Chairman and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie continues to work with the administration, albeit in the roll of Opioid Czar.  Christie has pushed for legalized sports betting in the Garden State.

Trump himself has commented favorably regarding the legalization of sports betting nationwide.

LegalSportsReport.com surmises:

If New Jersey were to somehow win the case, it would mark a sea change for sports betting in the US, which is illegal pretty much everywhere outside of Nevada. A verdict in New Jersey’s favor could conceivably lead to other states following in New Jersey’s footsteps.

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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