New Jersey’s appeal of the federal court ruling preventing it from offering single-game sports betting to state residents appears to have placed on the fast-track. Earlier this month, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals released the schedule for the state and its opponents – the US Department of Justice, four professional sports leagues and the NCAA – to file their various briefs and replies, the last of which was due May 30. But the Third Circuit now suggests it may actually begin hearing oral arguments as early as May 27.
On Thursday, NorthJersey.com’s John Brennan reported that the Third Circuit had informed the litigants that their case has been “tentatively listed on the merits on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 in Philadelphia.” However, the notice went on to say that “it may become necessary” to advance this date to “another day within the week of May 27.”
The notice also says that the court has yet to determine “whether there will be oral argument” at this meeting and how much time each party would be allocated to make their arguments. Most observers had expected this appeal to progress through the overburdened court system like molasses in January, but it appears this case is an itch the Third Circuit is keen to scratch.
NEVADA SENATE COMMITTEE OKAYS ELECTION AND ENTITY BETTING, DEFERS KIOSK DECISION
Out in Nevada, the only US state in which single-game sports betting is legal, politicians are looking to expand the state’s betting options. Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee gave its stamp of approval to two pieces of legislation designed to broaden the scope of the state’s sportsbooks. The first bill, SB346, would allow private equity ‘entities’ to place sports wagers, provided the hedge funders base themselves in the state and register their individual members with the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The committee also approved a bill that would allow sportsbooks to take action on US federal elections. Both bills now proceed to the full Senate for a floor vote.
The committee showed less enthusiasm for the proposal to ban restricted gaming licensees from operating sports betting kiosks in their pubs and clubs. Committee chairman Sen. Tick Segerblom opted to send SB416 to the Senate Finance Committee with a request for further study. Segerblom said there was “no appetite” to pass the bill without undertaking this study. The legislation, which is backed by the Nevada Resort Association casino lobby, has met with resistance from restricted license holders and from UK bookie William Hill’s US division, which operates 82 of the kiosks in the state.
As William Hill USA chief exec Joe Asher told the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s John L. Smith, complaints that the kiosks are keeping punters out of the big casino sportsbooks ring pretty hollow when the same casinos are moving full steam ahead on online poker. “How can it logically be okay as a matter of public policy to play internet poker in the bedroom, but not make a sports bet in a bar?”