US Sports Bodies Vs. New Jersey


Litigation launched against the state's sports betting aspirations

In an attempt to prevent New Jersey's sports betting initiative, five major US sports bodies launched litigation invoking the provisions of the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), according to which sports wagering is forbidden in all U.S. states, except Delaware, Oregon, Montana and Nevada.

The associations in question are Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

In their suit they stated: 'Gambling on amateur and professional sports threatens the integrity of those sports and is fundamentally at odds with the principle...that the outcome of collegiate and professional athletic contests must be determined, and must be perceived by the public as being determined, solely on the basis of honest athletic competition.

"The sponsorship, operation, advertising, promotion, licensure, and authorization of sports gambling in New Jersey," the lawsuit states, "would irreparably harm amateur and professional sports by fostering suspicion that individual plays and final scores of games may have been influenced by factors other than honest athletic competition."

However, Gov. Chris Christie has already signed legislation that seeks to make sports betting in New Jersey legal, allowing the state to move forward with legal sports betting plans despite the federal ban.

At the time, Christie said: 'Am I expecting there may be legal action taken against us to try to prevent it? Yes. But I have every confidence we're going to be successful.' Still, now that it has come to the litigation, neither he nor his spokesman had a comment.

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