The NCAA and the four major professional sports leagues sued to prevent the law from taking effect, arguing that New Jersey’s repeal of the law was actually an authorization of sports gambling. On Tuesday, the court agreed.
Attorney Christopher Soriano has a good explainer of the decision on his Twitter feed:
According to ESPN.com’s David Purdum, the fight is far from over.
New Jersey has long sought to legalize sports gambling in order to prop up the fortunes of its racetracks and casinos, which have been hit hard by a wave of openings in neighboring Pennsylvania and Maryland. In 2011, voters in the state overwhelmingly voted in favor of a referendum that would establish state-sponsored sports gambling and the state challenged PASPA’s constitutionality in court. But the proposed law never took effect after a successful challenge from the same groups that opposed the most recent attempt.
The NBA was one of the four professional sports leagues to oppose the expansion of sports gambling to New Jersey, but recent comments from commissioner Adam Silver suggest the league may be softening its opposition. Last year, right around the time New Jersey repealed its prohibition, Silver announced he had no moral opposition to sports gambling, that he expects sports gambling to be legalized nationwide in the near future and that he hoped NBA teams could profit off that eventual decision.
The league issued a statement Tuesday saying it supports a federal solution to the sports-gambling issue:
In its argument before the court, New Jersey argued that the NCAA and the pro-sports leagues have “unclean hands” because of their association with daily-fantasy contests and because of the fact that they hold games in cities — London, Las Vegas, etc. — where sports gambling is legal. The court rejected that argument, saying it’s unrelated to the quetion at hand.