Governor Chris Christie’s hopes of legalizing sports gambling in New Jersey suffered yet another blow last week when the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an earlier ruling which made sports betting illegal in the state.
It is not certain what the state’s next move will be as it can appeal the case before the full court due to the fact that there were only three judges who heard the case. It would, however, appear as though the state will appeal to the Supreme Court. Governor Chris Christie had previously let it be known that he will be taking the case to the Supreme Court if it became necessary.
A referendum in support of sports betting was passed by voters in 2011 which was later followed by a law being passed by New Jersey lawmakers allowing sports betting at horse race racks as well as at casinos in Atlantic City. The bill, however, banned bets on NCAA matches that took place in state and New Jersey universities sports although it allowed betting on most NCAA games.
A consortium of sporting organizations which included NCAA, NFL, NHL, MLB and NBA thereafter sued New Jersey and argued that there was a possibility that legalized sports betting could taint the games and could lead to match fixing. The NCAA’s reaction to this was to move several of their events to outside of New Jersey but they were, however, later brought back to New Jersey.