Centrally located to many major sports franchises in the United States, the state of New Jersey has a long standing tradition, a stigma if you will, against legalized betting on sporting event outcomes. To many citizens the persecution of sports gambling has turned into a stubborn and misguided judicial and political endeavor that seems to have lost its way. In turn, creating a huge loss of opportunity and financial potential; consider income to surrounding communities, the revenue in local and state taxes, and the possible growth and advancements in the field of regulated sports gambling. And the controversy is all at a standstill due to governmental policies, procedures and laws over 20 years old that that many citizens regard as outdated and considering current economic circumstances the sentiments of voters may be more on=track the politics wasted on the issue.
Perhaps, not surprisingly, opponents of the declaration to approve New Jersey state regulated sports gambling include the powerful and major sport franchises such as the NBA, NFL, NCAA, NHL and MLB. And these institutions may have good reason to take legal action to protect not only the best financial interests of the franchise but also the well-being and best interests of the athletes. Perhaps the sympathy and support from the courts of New Jersey regarding the ban on gambling for sporting events is as simple as trying to negate the pressure on athletes performing before millions of people who are betting on their deliverance. And this added pressure on the players, not to mention the lack of cut or financial kickback for sports organizations, tends to present a no-win proposition for some very powerful sports organizations having the ability to challenge changes and lean on existing precedents in the court system.
As it stands, the major sports associations of the United States, in conjunction with the federal government, have kept at bay almost four years of legal efforts supported by the citizens of New Jersey to allow regulated sports gambling in their own home state. Way back in 2011 legal sports betting was approved by voters in a referendum, and ever since it has been difficult for state lawmakers to overcome the opposition and take action on the voter mandate. Legal battles continue, and one of the dramas is the controversy is the existence of a US federal court ruling in defiance of a voter and publicly backed state mandate.
The overall goal that may be achieved by the state of New Jersey, at this point in time, may be to force the hand of the United States federal judicial system to make a stand on the PASPA Act. Clarify state-by-state rules and regulations considering each state’s specific circumstance and voter mandates. Under fair and unbiased scrutiny and review it is possible the PASPA act might even be declared unconstitutional. Perhaps The State of New Jersey feels they would benefit from just such an outcome.
In Europe one can bet on sporting events, in the U.S. the state of Nevada has the golden key for sports related betting. So, will the legal processes in the state of New Jersey, against the federal government and the rich and powerful sporting franchises, open the door for other states to seek to join the battle against the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act and assist to end the monopoly of the Nevada and European sports gambling industry? Perhaps one day we will all be able to go to a local casino or website to bet online if that is our inclination. It is all about our rights as citizens and public mandates should prove the need for change and may present lucrative opportunities at levels not considered.
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