New Jersey sports betting decision delayed

7 October 2014

US District Judge Michael Shipp has delayed a decision over whether to allow legal sports betting in the US state of New Jersey in order to give both sides additional time to file more briefs.

According to the Associated Press news agency, the Judge was due to have published an opinion about the case yesterday (Monday) but will now instead hear oral arguments on October 31 before ruling on whether his 2013 order permits New Jersey to offer sports betting as long as it is not state-regulated.

The legal battle stretches back to 2011 when voters in New Jersey approved legalised sports gambling in a non-binding referendum.

Legislation followed by passing a sports wagering bill that Governor Chris Christie signed into law in 2012.

However, the four major professional sports league and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sued several months later in order to stop the effort, with Judge Shipp ruling in early 2013 that the federal law restricting sports betting in Nevada and three other states was constitutional.

Following this ruling, Judge Shipp issued a permanent injunction that stopped New Jersey from implementing the law, with the US Supreme Court declining to take up the state’s appeal.

Despite vetoing a new bill that would have repealed the state’s prohibition on sports betting earlier this year, Christie announced last month that he was ordering the state’s Attorney General office not to prosecute casinos or racetracks offering sports wagering that is not regulated by the state.

Last week, iGaming Business reported that the four professional sports leagues and the NCAA had filed a court challenge to Christie’s move, branding it ‘astounding’, ‘specious’ a ‘blatant violation’ of Shipp's previous order.

In addition, the US Department of Justice also announced its opposition to the new order, dismissing it as ‘meritless theory’.

Related articles:

US Department of Justice opposes New Jersey sports betting plans

Pro leagues challenge New Jersey over sports betting

New Jersey set to allow sports betting