GUEST POST: New Jersey’s Sports Betting Lawsuit

Will the odds be ever in their favor?

At this point in time, New Jersey’s fight for sports betting legalization in the state might just as well be compared to the Brooklyn Nets’ frustrating season, however, the final uproar lies with the US Supreme Court, and the whole shenanigan is far from over. If the state is Nets coach Jason Kidd, their players are hotshot lawyers: Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, the prominent law firm hired by Gov. Chris Christie’s administration to represent the state. New Jersey news site NJ.com said that the law firm has already put in a total of more than 4,300 hours (over a million dollars worth of professional fees), and roughly $180,000 were spent on research, travel, and other miscellaneous fees on top of this. Former Solicitor General Theodore Olson, Harvard Law Review editor Robert E. Johnson and Eugene Scalia (whose father is U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia) worked a lot of billable hours in this case.

Following the State’s Motto: Liberty and Prosperity
So why, exactly, is the state so keen on pushing sports betting’s legalization? Sen. Raymond Lezniak said that this is because it will be a great investment, since the value of a victory is priceless. It’s bound to be a billion-dollar industry, generating much needed revenue for the state while at the same time providing jobs for NJ citizens. An analyst stated that an annual income of $100 million will likely be produced with this venture, if odds will ever be in New Jersey’s favor. A win will also make a huge impact on the resume of Gov. Chris Christie, who’s currently projected by Betfair as a Republican favorite, with a 5.4 rating. The governor, backed up by the Legislature, is challenging the prohibition of the Federal Law of allowing sports event betting, with the hope that the US Supreme Court will decide in their favor. The people of NJ are also behind the governor.

A Call to Professional Sporting Arms
Pundits also reinforce the state’s claim of having a long and celebrated history when it comes to professional sports teams and sports in general. Even with the change of address of the former New Jersey Nets to Brooklyn, they still house two of the most polarizing NFL teams in the New York Jets and New York Giants, loyally cheer for a rebuilding NHL franchise in the New Jersey Devils, and passionately chant for the defending Supporters’ Shield winners, the New York Red Bulls of the MLS. Now by putting everything into perspective, all signs should lead to a logical decision of legalizing sports betting in New Jersey.

The Thing is…
It’s currently hard to predict the outcome of this gamble by New Jersey, and George Amick of the Times said that chances look dim. This is because of two reasons: first, Congress doesn’t seem too keen in passing “essential” legislation—how much more something of this nature? Second, Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada is “guarding” the gates of the Senate—the democrat just might not welcome the idea of sharing his state’s monopoly on sports betting. However, if the US Supreme Court doesn’t take cognizance of the case, NJ may still appeal to Congress that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) Law be repealed.