New Jersey has officially launched its appeal of the Feb. 28 District Court ruling barring the state from offering legal sports bets. On Wednesday, Gov. Chris Christie’s administration filed notice in federal court that it would appeal Judge Michael Shipp’s decision to the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. That same court rejected a 2009 bid by the state of Delaware to expand its limited parlay-style sports betting system to allow single-game betting, although that case did not hinge on the questionable constitutionality of the federal PASPA sports betting prohibition.
Also filing an appeal are the state’s thoroughbred horseracing industry, which had joined New Jersey in pushing back against the sports leagues and the US Department of Justice’s ban-hammer. The Associated Press stated that the appeal could be heard within the next few months, although Christie – a former US Attorney – previously estimated it could be a year until the matter comes up on the Third Circuit’s docket. Regardless, Christie has already stated his intention to appeal the matter all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary. In the meantime, we expect an announcement any minute now from the NCAA reinstating its ban on the playing of collegiate championship games within New Jersey.
CASINO CONTROL COMMISSION SIDESTEPS AGA’S POKERSTARS PETITION
The New Jersey Casino Control Commission (CCC) has avoided making a decision on whether to hear the petition brought by the American Gaming Association seeking to bar online poker operator PokerStars’ US subsidiary the Rational Group from obtaining a New Jersey gaming license. The AGA’s petition was listed on the schedule for Wednesday’s CCC meeting, but CCC chairman Matthew Levinson announced that it had been pulled from the agenda because “additional time is needed for the consideration of this matter.”
The AGA filed its petition last Monday, protesting the potential licensing of such a “criminal enterprise.” PokerStars fired back this week, calling the AGA’s bluster “economic warfare” designed solely to benefit Rational’s competitors. Rational has reached a deal to acquire Atlantic City’s struggling Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, but the deal is contingent on Rational being granted a New Jersey gaming license.