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Poker News | World Poker News

New Jersey Sports Betting Plans get Thumbs Down from US Department of Justice

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A report over at does not look good for New Jersey's efforts to allow sports betting inside the state. The U.S. Department of Justice has taken a stance that agrees with the country's major sports leagues that oppose sports betting in casinos and racetracks in New Jersey.

U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp has been encouraged by the federal government to keep a prior court order in effect that would stop the state's sports betting plan with the argument that the state's legal strategy is founded upon a "meritless theory."

The stance the leagues and the Department of Justice have taken is that New Jersey's plan to allow sports betting is in violation of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

The only states that have received exemptions through PASPA are Montana, Oregon, Delaware, and Nevada. Those exemptions were given due to sports' betting operations that were in effect before the law was enacted by Congress in 1992.

State Senator Raymond D. Lesniak, D-Union has led a charge by New Jersey lawmakers to approach a hands-off practice to get sports betting into New Jersey. In other words, the state would not authorize or regulate sports betting, so there would be no violation of PASPA if the racetracks and casinos in the Garden State took sports bets.

The language of New Jersey state law may undergo a change since state Senator Joseph Kyrillos, R-Monmouth, and Lesniak recently announced new legislation that would abolish the language that prohibits sports betting. Their thinking is that if there is no law against it, the state's legal position will take a step forward. The bill, if it goes into effect, would not allow the transport of sports-betting equipment to move across state lines and 21 would be the minimum betting age.

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