NFL, NBA Tell Supreme Court Not To Hear NJ Sports Betting Case

[toc]The US Supreme Court won’t hear an appeal regarding the New Jersey sports betting case, If the major North American professional sports leagues have anything to say about it.

The latest on New Jersey and sports betting

The plaintiffs in New Jersey’s ongoing quest to legalize sports betting made their displeasure known yet again with a filing on Wednesday. Those plaintiffs are four pro sports leagues — the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL — along with the NCAA, who asked SCOTUS not to hear the state’s appeal.

The appeal dates back to the latest in a string of losses for NJ in the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals. An “en banc” of justices ruled this summer, by a margin of 9-3, that New Jersey’s partial repeal of its sports betting prohibition violated PASPA. That’s the federal law that prohibits single-game wagering in most of the US, except for Nevada.

The appeal to SCOTUS was made in October; yesterday was the deadline for the leagues to respond with their filing.

Inside the leagues’ filing

The leagues’ filing basically told the country’s highest court that hearing an appeal was a waste of time, as the issues are the same as they were when an appeal was not considered in a previous NJ sports betting case:

“This case involves petitioners’ second attempt to convince this Court to review a novel constitutional argument that has been rejected by every court to consider it. The principal difference is that now petitioners have added three more adverse decisions, including one by an overwhelming majority of an en banc court, to the tally of strikes against them. There is no reason for this Court to reach a different result this time around.”

John Brennan of broke down some of the key arguments of the leagues in a story here.

Several state attorneys general and the American Gaming Association disagree. Earlier, they filed amicus briefs on the side of New Jersey.

What’s next on the NJ sports betting case?

Mostly, it’s waiting for the Supreme Court to decide whether to hear the appeal. That decision is likely to come sometime early in 2017.

If the appeal is not heard, it’s back to the drawing board for New Jersey. The state legislature has already introduced a new bill in anticipation of another loss in the courts for New Jersey.

For his part, Gov. Chris Christie is optimistic that his state will have legal sports betting in 2017.

About the Author

Warren Jones

Aside from his role as editor at, Warren Jones writes extensively about the legal online gaming and US online poker industries, having played poker recreationally for his entire adult life. He has also covered sports for The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner, among others.