No OTB in California sports bet bill; New Jersey PASPA appeal schedule set

TAGs: California, Department of Justice, New Jersey Online Gambling, PASPA, sports betting

new-jersey-paspa-california-sports-bettingThe SB 190 sports betting bill introduced by California state Senator Rod Wright has undergone a slight revision. An amended version of the bill was introduced on Thursday that strikes satellite wagering facilities off the list of operations that would be eligible to offer on-site sports wagers. That leaves state-licensed gambling establishments (tribal casinos and card rooms) and horse racing tracks on the list of potential betting operators.

Wright’s Inglewood constituency includes the Hollywood Park racetrack and his SB 51 online poker bill has been criticized by the state’s tribes for (among other reasons) including racetracks on the list of potential poker potentates, given the tracks’ lack of history of anything to do with poker. The California state Senate Governmental Organization Committee will hold a hearing on SB 190 on April 23.

Of course, no one in California will be offering sports bets so long as the federal PASPA prohibition against sports betting remains on the books. So until the New Jersey PASPA court challenge is resolved, new state laws mean little. Speaking of, the sports leagues and the US Department of Justice opposing New Jersey’s sports betting bid have responded to the state’s filing of a Joint Motion to Expedite the proceedings in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

The state had requested the following schedule of events: following the Court’s approval of the Motion, New Jersey would have 24 days to submit its filing, the leagues would then have 17 days to respond and the state would have 10 days to file a reply brief. The DOJ responded to the state’s proposal by complaining that “a constitutional challenge to a federal statute is no small endeavor,” i.e. 17 days was insufficient time in which to find new ways to rephrase ‘Satan loves sports betting.’ The DOJ suggested 30 days was a more appropriate timetable.

On Friday,’s John Brennan reported that the Third Circuit Court had decided to split the difference, agreeing to the state’s initial 24-day timetable, but giving the DOJ and the leagues an equal 24-day span in which to respond, after which the state would have just seven days to file their reply brief. So the state brief is due April 29, the DOJ/league response is due May 23 and the state’s reply brief must be in by May 30. Of course, none of this guarantees that the Court will actually get around to handing down a ruling anytime soon, and regardless how it shakes out, this puppy’s likely headed to the US Supreme Court, so we aren’t even at half-time yet.


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