New Jersey Rumors
A U.S. District Judge ruled in favor of the NCAA and four major professional sports leagues Friday and issued a permanent injunction to prevent New Jersey casinos and racetracks from offering sports betting. Judge Michael Shipp wrote that New Jersey’s latest efforts — the 2014 Sports Wagering Law — violates the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. Shipp heard oral arguments from both sides Thursday in Trenton, New Jersey, before releasing his decision just hours before a temporary restraining order that stopped the state’s thoroughbred track Monmouth Park from opening its sports book was set to expire.
The state believes sports betting can help revive its struggling casino and horse racing industries. The sports leagues have argued that it will damage fans’ perception of the integrity of their games, although NBA commissioner Adam Silver recently said expanded legalized sports betting in the United States is inevitable. New Jersey will file an appeal within days, State Senator Raymond Lesniak told ESPN. “We continue to believe that New Jersey has the right to allow sports betting in the state and we will keep up the fight in court,” State Senate President Steve Sweeney said in a statement. “We are going to continuing pursuing every legal option available. The economic impact that sports wagering can have on New Jersey is far too important to simply shrug our shoulders and move on.”
Adam Silver: “I do think that sports betting on a widespread legalized basis in the United States is inevitable in part because States like New Jersey are pushing hard to generate additional revenue in the same way that lotteries have expanded to virtually every State now. I think sports betting will follow behind. My view is that if that is inevitable, and it’s gonna happening, then we need to participate in the regulatory framework that will be designed around our game. I mean, ultimately we have the responsability for the integrity of the game, to ensure the competition is pure, to ensure that no one in the NBA family -a team, a referee- is in any way influenced by gamblers. We of course do all these things now, but frankly because the industry is not transparent, we can’t do as good a job I believe as we could if it were all highly regulated. I mean for example, right now, there’s a huge offshore online business in sports betting.”
The NYC Marathon field will have a slightly taller look this year as the National Basketball Association joins in to promote physical activity throughout New York’s five boroughs. The NBA will hold a relay, pairing league celebrities with local youth runners to complete the Nov. 2 race in 24 legs, league Commissioner Adam Silver and Mary Wittenberg, chief executive officer of race organizer New York Road Runners, said yesterday at a pre-race luncheon. Silver, a two-time NYC Marathon finisher, will run the first leg with 14-year-old Staten Island resident Lauren Pitarresi, while Dikembe Mutombo, the 7-foot-2 center who played for both the New York Knicks and then-New Jersey Nets, will run the final leg of the 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) race.
The NCAA, NFL and other major professional sports leagues will file for immediate injunctive relief Tuesday to prevent New Jersey from offering sports betting this weekend, according to State Sen. Raymond Lesniak. Monmouth Park, one New Jersey’s oldest thoroughbred tracks, is planning to offer sports betting next Sunday, unless a court order stops it.