New Jersey’s top legal eagle has asked a federal judge for a one-week extension on the deadline for filing the state’s latest sports betting brief. Acting Attorney General John Hoffman has asked US District Court Judge Michael Shipp for an extra week in which to punch up New Jersey’s latest argument for bringing legal sports betting to Atlantic City casinos and state racetracks.
The state was supposed to submit its filing by Friday (10) but Hoffman argued that the briefs filed last week by the US Department of Justice and the sports leagues opposing New Jersey’s plans contain “a number of new arguments.” As such, Hoffman insists that he needs more time in which to translate ‘yo mama’ into acceptable legalese.
Hoffman also sought to assure Shipp that he’s not aware of any casino or track that intends to begin offering sports bets before Oct. 17. The operators of the Monmouth Park track have been most vocal about offering sports bets but they’ve already stated they don’t intend to pull the trigger before Shipp hears both sides’ oral arguments on Halloween.
That said, Monmouth execs aren’t sitting idly by. On Thursday, the track announced the formation of The Independent Sports Wagering Association (TISWA), a self-regulating body the track says will oversee how the state’s sports betting is conducted. Sadly, TISWA has no association with Tiswas, the UK’s long lost Saturday morning kids’ TV series, and even less with show host Sally James (pictured). Still, phwoarrr…
TISWA’s formation is important because New Jersey’s current legal gambit is based on DOJ lawyers’ insistence that there was nothing in the federal PASPA sports betting prohibition preventing the state from simply declining to enforce its state laws against betting. But PASPA does prohibit states from actively licensing or regulating sports betting operators, so TISWA is intended to provide the state with a fig-leaf semblance of cover on the issue of non-regulation.
Finally, NJ.com uncovered a little known nugget o’ trivia regarding this case, especially given the role of the National Football League in attempting to crush the state’s sports betting hopes and dreams. Judge Shipp’s younger brother Marcel played running back for the Arizona Cardinals between 2001 and 2007, leading the team in rushing in 2002 and 2003, before his NFL career came to a close in 2008. No one has yet lobbed any charges of bias against Michael Shipp but we’ll be very suspicious if Marcel’s name emerges as a possible replacement for embattled NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.