NorthJersey.com’s John Brennan reports that the judge overseeing the major North American sports leagues’ legal bid to block New Jersey’s plans to bring single-game sports betting to the Garden State has granted motions to intervene filed by the state’s horseracing body and the heads of the state’s two legislative houses. The Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association filed their motion last month, stating their concern that the leagues were attempting to cut off a crucial new revenue stream for racetracks. State Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver filed their motion last week, citing the need “to ensure the State’s interest is represented without interruption” in case Gov. Chris Christie’s support for the sports betting push wavered due to “changing political circumstances.” The leagues had opposed both motions, but Judge Michael Shipp’s ruling means the motion filers will be allowed to appear at the oral arguments scheduled for Dec. 18 in Trenton.
In Nevada, the only US jurisdiction in which single-game sports betting is currently legal, the bookmaker formerly known as Leroy’s Horse and Sports Place has agreed to pay a $25,815 fine for accepting unauthorized wagers on this year’s Kentucky Derby. Leroy’s, now under UK bookie William Hill’s control, admitted to the Nevada Gaming Control Board that four of its outlets took Derby wagers, despite only being licensed to take sports bets. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the $815 portion of the fine represented the company’s profit on those wagers. The GCB decision still needs to be approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission at its next meeting on Dec. 20.
In Florida, where sports betting is definitely not legal, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating a ring of Miami-Dade Police Department officers who were allegedly providing protection for a bookmaking operation in Liberty City. CBS Miami reported that the two-year-old investigation began when a tip led officers to place a reported bookie shop under surveillance, which revealed a parade of police officers taking turns guarding the establishment. In early 2011, the Miami cops turned the investigation over to the FBI, which soon discovered a second location at which officers were providing protection from street gangs and acting as bodyguards when money needed to be moved. Hey, protect and serve, right?