Pro leagues challenge New Jersey over sports betting

30 September 2014

Four major North American professional sports leagues and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) have filed a court challenge to New Jersey’s latest effort to offer legal sports betting in the US state.

According to the Associated Press news agency, the challenge branded the attempt as ‘astounding’, ‘specious’ and a ‘blatant violation’ of a previous court order.

Earlier in September, iGaming Business reported that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced casinos and racetracks in the US start could start to offer legal sports wagering pools.

Christie also said betting would be allowed with the provision that bets are placed on events outside of the state, so as not to conflict with a 1992 federal law.

"Defendants' latest arguments are nothing more than a blatant attempt to circumvent this Court's injunction and the federal law that it prohibits defendants from violating," the leagues said according to the Washington Times newspaper.

US District Judge Michael Shipp, whose injunction sided with the leagues in upholding the federal ban last year, is expected to make a decision on the case by next week.

Shortly after Christie made the announcement earlier in September, Attorney General John Hoffman directed New Jersey law enforcement not to prosecute venues that offer sports betting.

Although federal law bans states from authorising sports betting, Hoffman said New Jersey was not regulating, licensing or authorising sports betting, but instead informing casinos and racetracks they would not be prosecuted.

Related article: New Jersey set to allow sports betting