A pair of New Jersey congressmen have revived their push to have the US federal government lift its longstanding ban on legal sports betting.
With the Super Bowl just days away, Representatives Frank LoBiondo and Frank Pallone Jr. have reintroduced legislation to overturn the federal PASPA sports betting prohibition, which for a quarter-century has restricted single-game sports betting to the state of Nevada.
The reps have introduced two separate bills, with Pallone’s NJ BET Act aimed at exempting New Jersey from the PASPA prohibition while LoBiondo’s Sports Gaming Opportunity Act would offer a four-year window in which all US states could choose for themselves whether they want legal sports betting within their borders.
For the record, LoBiondo and Pallone have been pitching versions of these bills for years but these efforts have yet to make any headway on Capitol Hill, and there’s no indication that this year will be any different.
However, the Garden State pols are apparently feeling better about their prospects since the US Supreme Court signaled a couple weeks ago that it was interested in determining the legality of New Jersey’s most recent intrastate sports betting legislation.
The Supreme Court requested that the Acting Solicitor General submit a brief detailing the White House’s position on New Jersey’s sports betting quest. Noel J. Francisco assumed the Acting SG role on January 23, but President Donald Trump has yet to identify his pick for the permanent job, making it difficult to forecast how the appointee might inform the Court.
There’s no guarantee that the SG will honor the Court’s request by filing a brief, but if one is forthcoming, it will likely be filed by May. Assuming that happens and the Court chooses to take up the case, New Jersey gaming attorney Christopher Soriano told the Washington Post that oral arguments could be heard by next January with a ruling possible by late spring or summer 2018.