Lesniak Predicts New Jersey Casinos And Racetracks Will Start Sports Wagering In Fall

Senator Raymond J. Lesniak, D-Union, the prime sponsor of legislation to allow casinos to operate Internet wagering sites, testifies before the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee on his bill.

Says Court Will Not Issue An Injunction Before Deciding The Case On Its Merits

TRENTON – Following news yesterday that a number of professional and college sports organizations had filed suit in federal court to overturn New Jersey’s sports wagering law, Senator Raymond J. Lesniak, D-Union, the author of the sports wagering law, said that he believes the court will not attempt to interfere with New Jersey’s sports book operations until after deciding the case on its merits.

Senator Lesniak released the following statement:

“To get a preliminary injunction, the sports leagues have to prove that there will be irreparable harm to their sports if New Jersey’s casinos and racetracks are allowed to take bets on sports while the court considers the legal arguments made in the briefs submitted by the sports leagues and our attorney general, a process that could take six months or more.

“No way do I believe the court will issue such an injunction.

“Since the federal law banning sports betting, PASPA, allowed New Jersey to have sports betting if we adopted an amendment to our constitution within a year of its enactment, there is already precedent that sports wagering in New Jersey would not have done irreparable harm. If it wouldn’t have done irreparable harm then, there’s no way it would do irreparable harm now.

“Also, the NFL has irreparably hurt its own argument by having NFL teams play at Wembley Stadium in London since 2007, where bets were being placed right across from the stadium and throughout Europe. Likewise, the NBA held its annual All-Star Game in Las Vegas in 2007, a gaming jurisdiction that is legally authorized to take sports wagers under the federal ban. The NBA and Major League Baseball have also sponsored games overseas involving their players – many of which took place in countries that allow for the legal wagering on sporting events.

“If these games were not irreparably harmed by the existence of sports wagering within close proximity to the field of play, then sports wagering in New Jersey likely has little potential to irreparably harm the integrity of sports events nationwide.

“Game, set and match: no injunction. I can’t wait until the Giants play the Eagles so I can place a bet on the Giants, regardless of the spread.”