Sports Leagues: NJ Sports Betting Bill Not Fair

This week, as a response to the state of New Jersey's attempt to have their legal action against legalized New Jersey sports betting dismissed, the major US sports leagues - the NCAA, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League issued a joint statement.

In it, they assessed the Garden State's proposed sports betting legalization law as hypocritical because it prohibits gambling on New Jersey college games, but allows it on all other college and pro contests.

In their latest submission to a US District Court, the sports leagues noted: "Notwithstanding defendants' insistence that the state's gambling scheme will have no adverse effect on the sports organizations, the state has exempted the sporting events of its own college and university teams, as well as all collegiate sporting events held within New Jersey, from the very gambling that defendants now insist will cause no injury.

"Nowhere in their brief do defendants attempt to explain why New Jersey has singled out its own teams and sporting events for protection from injuries that purportedly do not exist."

However, when it attempted to dismiss the leagues' lawsuit last month, in its motion, New Jersey legal representatives said an estimated $380 billion a year is wagered illegally on sporting events, adding: "The leagues' complaint alleges no facts that would suggest that this nearly half-trillion-dollar pre-existing industry has harmed the reputation or goodwill of the leagues. Given that, there is no reason to believe that sports wagering in New Jersey will cause harm to the leagues ever."

And while the state still has not responded to the leagues' latest submission, Sen. Raymond Lesniak, the major proponent of sports betting legalization in New Jersey, commented that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, carved out special exemptions for Nevada and three other states that had legalised sports betting before a 1991 deadline - Delaware, Oregon and Montana.

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