Legal Analyst On Sports Betting: New Jersey Is 20 Years Too Late

The United States Court of Appeals has once again blocked New Jersey’s bid to legalize sports betting, striking down a measure Tuesday that would have allowed sports books in casinos and race tracks. In stymying the plan, the Third Circuit upheld the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which prohibits states from sports betting.

PASPA was enacted in 1992.

“(New Jersey is) 20-something years too late,” legal analyst Sean Roman said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “This federal law was enacted in 1992, and it was done with the intent to invite a state exactly like New Jersey to enter the arena of sports betting, and it gave them a year to finalize it within their state. It only allowed states to set up sports wagering who had a history of having 10 years or more with actual state-run casinos that were licensed. That was very few states, and New Jersey was one of those states because historically Jersey started putting up those casinos in 1978. They were very hot in the ’80s with Mike Tyson fights, as well as their new casino towers. But in the early ’90s, they did not act quick enough so the door closed on them – the law absolutely closed – and they only allowed four states to operate sports wagering. Mainly it’s in Las Vegas, Nevada, who had casinos from way back, and also in Delaware, where they allow a certain level of parlays. But New Jersey and everybody else is out of the mix.”

The court ruled 10-2 to invalidate a law that New Jersey passed in 2014 that would have allowed sports betting at casinos and race tracks. The ruling, of course, is bad news for New Jersey.

And the worst part? It wasn’t even close.

“They petitioned to the entire court, which is 12 judges who work in the entire federal circuit system in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and they came down against the sports wagering 10-2,” Roman said. “So that’s pretty much a mandate.”

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