Update: Another Obstacle Before New Jersey Attempt To Legalize Sports Betting


New developments in the iMEGA case

This week brought new developments to New Jersey: a new stage has been reached in a court action involving the pro-online gambling action group Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association, as the U.S. Department of Justice announced its opposition to the attempt to legalize sports betting in the state of New Jersey.

As a rather relaxed and open state in terms of legalized sports betting regime, New Jersey in November passed legislation authorizing a poll on legalization online sports betting. State Senator Ray Lesniak sponsored and pushed the bill which passed by a convincing margin despite the opposition of state governor Chris Christie.

In a letter to Judge Garrett E, Brown the Dept. stated that it opposes the iMEGA move; the letter now forms a part of the defense against the organization's action to lift the sports betting ban on the Federal level.

DoJ lawyer Peter D. Leary claimed in the letter that iMEGA's request to amend the record with a copy of the sports betting ballot referendum bill SCR 132 is not warranted, adding that the successful New Jersey sports betting ballot legislation is irrelevant because it simply "...might give the State Legislature the power to possibly pass state laws related to sports betting".

In addition, the Department stated that a favorable judgment would not actually correct the plaintiff's injuries, reportedly embodied in New Jersey's current inability to offer state-regulated and taxed sports betting. The Dept. is referring to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act as a core of the action aimed at preventing New Jersey from introducing its own sports betting regulatory and tax regime.

However, on the other side iMEGA opines that this legislation only restrains the state of New Jersey and denies it rights already exploited by other states, such as Delaware and Nevada.

Apart from the legislation, the Dept. also clings to its claim that iMEGA has no legal standing to bring the action against the government.

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