N.J. tells Supreme Court in filing that Congress' sports betting ban is unconstitutional

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A 25-year-old federal law banning most sports betting nationwide is unconstitutional and must be stricken, the state of New Jersey argued in a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court.

The brief was written by Ted Olson, a former U.S. solicitor general for a case that will be heard by the Supreme Court this fall -- a case that could open the door to state racetracks and Atlantic City casinos being able to offer Las Vegas-style gambling on professional and amateur sports events.

The issue before the Supreme Court dates to 2012, when the NFL, NCAA, NBA, Major League Baseball and the NHL filed suit in federal court to stop the potential betting by challenging a New Jersey law that legalized such betting.  Those organizations, which say they would suffer "irreparable" harm if sports betting were allowed, have continued to prevail in court. Keep scrolling to read the court briefing.  In his brief, Olson challenges a federal law that forces Jersey to ban sports betting at the state's casinos and racetracks in spite of a state law that permits it.  "The statute obviously and directly prevents New Jersey officials from being responsive to the local electorate’s preferences, because it compels them to maintain in force state-law prohibitions that New Jersey citizens - directly and through a super-majority of their elected representatives - repeatedly have expressed their desire to withdraw.," Olson wrote in the 57-page filing. The federal law, the Professional and Amateur Sports Betting Act of 1992, did not directly ban sports betting - instead leaving it up to the states to enforce its wishes.

"Under our Constitution, if Congress wishes for sports wagering to be illegal, it must make the activity unlawful itself," Olson added. "It cannot compel States to do so. The decision of the court of appeals should be reversed."

A hearing is expected to take place in Washington, D.C. later this year, with a decision not expected until next spring. The Court's determination to take up the case - along with a conservative majority on the Court seen as being amenable to state's rights claims - has led a number of sports law attorneys following the case to suggest that New Jersey has a good chance to prevail. A victory for New Jersey in the case also would have national implications --it might open the door for all states to offer sports betting, thereby ending Nevada's near-monopoly on sports betting in the U.S. The state's thoroughbred horsemen, a party to the case, also sent the nation's top Court a filing this week declaring that "the only revenue stream that can save Monmouth Park at the present time is revenue from sports betting that would bring in an estimated average of $1 million in new revenue each week.

http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/new-jersey/2017/08/30/nj-tells-supreme-court-filing-congresss-sports-betting-ban-unconstitutional/615689001/?platform=hootsuite