Earlier this month, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a bill into law that overhauled some of the state’s ban on sports betting. Once that bill was signed, many figured it was just the first step in the process and that there would be challenges to the law.
That challenge came in the form of the NFL and other professional sports leagues this week, who filed for an injunction with the U.S. District Court to stop the law from taking effect.
Now comes news that Judge Michael Shipp has granted a temporary restraining order, which means that sportsbooks cannot put league games on the docket until the litigation is settled.
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 strictly prohibits new states (outside of the four that had legalized gambling at that time) to engage in the betting of amateur and professional sports.
The NFL had previously attempted litigation against the state of Delaware after it legalized sports betting in 1976. At that point, U.S. District Judge Walter K. Stapleton denied the league’s request because it posed no threat the well-being of the NFL.
Deleware is one of the four states that sports betting is legal.
While the NFL argues that its economic bottom line will be impacted by New Jersey’s law, the state will claim that it’s unconstitutional to allow sports betting in just four states.
The outcome of this case is rather important. If New Jersey is successful, it will open up avenues for other states who have considered legislation in recent years.