New Jersey is continuing its fight to legalize sports betting as Gov. Chris Christie recently received the support of four other states behind a rehearing of a sports betting lawsuit at the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.
Wagering on sports events is allowed in only four states in the U.S. but many people believe that legalization could help reduce instances of pervasive gambling and sports law violations.
In September, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that the Garden State's sports betting law is overruled by a 1992 federal law that prohibits gambling in 46 states. However, Gov. Christie - and his supporters - said that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 violates the U.S. Constitution because it "commandeers" a state's authority.
Lawyers for the state wrote that the decision to shoot down New Jersey's sports betting law was "bizarre," because it was strongly supported.
"New Jersey's effort to shift sports wagering out of black markets and into closely regulated casinos and racetracks was approved by overwhelming majorities of the electorate and the Legislature," the state's attorneys said.
State Sen. Raymond Lesniak - one of the biggest supporters of sports betting in New Jersey - said the state is seeking a rehearing because it would allow them to argue the case sooner and it already has one judge in favor. Also, if the appeal is won, the judges could legalize sports betting in the Garden State while the Supreme Court hears the case.
Legalizing sports betting in New Jersey could help the state generate a significant amount of income. Each year, it is estimated that $380 billion is wagered illegally across the country, according to the American Gaming Association. The Garden State has been experiencing budget problems for quite some time, and the income from sports wagering could help solve some of the problems.