Legal Online Sports Betting

Chris Christie Plea for New Jersey Sports Gambling Hearing Denied by US Supreme Court

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie filed a petition with the US Supreme Court. At issue was a previous opinion that upheld a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) lawsuit against the state of New Jersey. The NCAA claimed that an earlier piece of legislation, the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), was violated when Christie attempted to legalize sports gambling in the state in 2011. That opinion was upheld in the courts, and this Monday, legalized sports wagering for New Jersey residents took another blow. After studying petitions offered by both the NCAA and New Jersey regarding a possible appeal, the United States Supreme Court decided not to hear New Jersey's plea.

With major college sports teams located in New Jersey, the NCAA moved in 2011 to protect its interests. PASPA was originally created to keep high-level sports gamblers from "fixing" collegiate and professional sporting events. Many of the major professional sports leagues also have teams in New Jersey, and that is why the NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL joined the NCAA in its lawsuit against the state. What the state or the federal government of the United States can not rule on is international bookmakers providing a viable option. Accordingly, there are several legally licensed and legitimately certified Internet sportsbooks operating and headquartered outside of the United States. Many of these have obtained licensing from industry recognized jurisdictions where online gambling is legal, and regulated. As of the Monday Supreme Court decision, these legally licensed and established offshore sportsbooks provide the only sports betting option for New Jersey, and honor all other US residents as well.

When Governor Christie moved to legalize sports gambling in New Jersey in 2011, he was doing so only at the behest of his constituents. The Garden State has a rich pro-gambling history, with some of the most notable and popular casinos in the world located on the Atlantic Ocean-front boardwalk in Atlantic City. In 2012, New Jersey legalized online gambling, in the form of virtual casino table games and poker. Legal betting on horse races takes place at the state's 4 horse tracks, and pari-mutuel betting is offered as well. New Jersey is also one of many US states to offer several lotteries to its residents. In a state where the average Joe staunchly supports gambling of all kinds, legal sports betting through state-based options is not a reality.

However, all is not lost. The current piece of legislation proposing legalized NJ-based sports betting was brought into existence by Democratic state Senator Ray Lesniak. And according to Mister Lesniak, Garden State residents may be able to place legal sports wagers this September 8, for the opening of the New York Giants NFL season. Many New Jersey residents are diehard Giants fans, as the team plays its home games in New Jersey's MetLife Stadium. Lesniak did not go into detail regarding this alternate effort to deliver legalized sports gambling as a New Jersey industry.

Oddly, in the 2013 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit decision which ruled against New Jersey for sports gambling, the judges offered some hope. The opinion penned by those circuit court judges stated that, "We do not read Paspa to prohibit New Jersey from repealing its ban on sports wagering." This means that, in those judges' eyes, New Jersey could simply repeal its own existing ban on sports wagering. They ruled that PASPA only disallows US states from "actively encouraging sports gambling by issuing licensing and promoting such activity." In other words, New Jersey businesses would be allowed to offer sports gambling, as long as the state did not involve itself in regulating it. Look for more heated legal action regarding sports wagering in New Jersey in the near future.

New Jersey and other US sports bettors are able to participate in legal sports betting at legally licensed offshore Internet sportsbooks. You can learn more about these options by visiting our section that provides detailed sportsbook reviews on reputable and trusted online sports betting sites for USA and international bettors.

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