New Jersey Bets Big on Sports Gambling, Loses - So Far...
The Associated Press reported on Sunday that the state of New Jersey has spent more than $2.8 million in attorney fees since Governor Chris Christie was forced to defend his initiative to issue sports gambling licenses.
The four major sports leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL), along with the NCAA filed a lawsuit against the state in 2012 demanding Christie's initiative was illegal according to the 1992 Professional & Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which says all sports gambling is illegal other than in states that already offer spots gambling to their visitors.
New Jersey, and thus Christie, have lost every step of the battle in court so far. However, that might have been the plan all along. This month the Supreme Court is expected to decide if they will hear the case.
Oddly, in political spheres, the news is not that the Supreme Court will be deciding to hear the case this month. Rather, the news, according to ABC News, is that the state is wasting more money than necessary at a time when they have an $800 million deficit.
An even more controversial point is that the firm the state is paying is the same firm Christie hired to investigate the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal.
Because of the current political tension surrounding Christie, the governor's political future might depend on the outcome of the Supreme Court ruling.
"If, by some long shot, the Court takes up the case," said Michael Enhowsen, analyst for CGW, "and if, by an even longer shot, the Court rules in favor of Christie, the state will make up that $2.8 in a couple months of legal sports gambling in the state and Christie will be a hero again."
The illegal sports gambling market in New Jersey is currently estimated to be worth $20 billion. If legalized the market is expected to quadruple the size of the Las Vegas market and some estimates expect New Jersey to garner $100 million in revenue yearly.
According to Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill, which owns and operates over 100 sportsbooks in Las Vegas, this was always for the Supreme Court to decide. Though, whether the Supreme Court takes it up or not, whether they overturn PAPSA or not, the future of America, he believes, will be a country where anyone will be able to bet from anywhere.