29th of May 2012 Author: Glo Wood
Legal problems may be difficult to clear
Confrontation between New Jersey and federal law and sports bodies over the Professional Amateur Sports Protection Act could face legal hurdles that could be difficult to overcome. There are some legal challenges built in trying to bypass, change or overthrow the PASPA in the face of opposition from either federal lawmakers or powerful sports bodies like the NFL.
NBC Sports writer, Mike Florio, argues about the fact that both New Jersey and Delaware are under the jurisdiction of the Third Judicial Circuit, and three years ago, initiated by NFL, it ruled against a Delaware attempt to legalise single-game sports betting. Delaware lost even when the case went on appeal.
"The fact that Delaware and New Jersey are in the same judicial circuit means that this case most likely is over before it even begins," Florio opines.
"The issue is settled; the federal law prohibiting sports gambling beyond any programs that states had in place between 1976 and 1990 has been upheld by the same appeals court to which any case against New Jersey would eventually go. (An appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court could change the outcome, but the Supreme Court refused to hear the Delaware case.)"
Considering the reasons for NFL's rigid opposition to more widely available sports betting, Florio supposes: "We continue to believe that, if sports gambling becomes legalized and thus legitimized, there will be more and more pressure on the NFL to ensure that every call made in every game is accurate, forcing the league to employ officials on a full-time basis, expand the use of instant replay, and fend off periodic charges that the outcomes are fixed as millions of legally wagered dollars change hands (or don't) based on a garbage-time touchdown that maybe shouldn't have been ruled a touchdown."
Asked about Gov. Christie's angry words on the PASPA said over the weekend, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed that his organisation is presently not considering reactions such as moving the 2014 Super Bowl away from New Jersey as the venue of choice, anticipating little impact from Gov. Christie's statement.
Aiello reminded that the law of the land prohibits sports betting outside of the provisions of the PASPA, and the league is '...opposed to sports wagering that uses our games as bait.'
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