TRENTON – State Senator Raymond J. Lesniak, D-Union, who is leading the charge to overturn a federal ban on sports betting in all but a handful of states as an unconstitutional and unfair infringement on states’ rights, issued the following statement regarding a federal appeals court’s decision today to declare Delaware’s attempt to establish sports betting as illegal:
“The Delaware case was determined on a statutory interpretation of the PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) federal ban on sports betting and not on the constitutional issues raised by New Jersey’s challenge. Therefore, we plan on proceeding with the challenge as planned, and this latest development does not deter us from challenging PAPSA as unconstitutional.
“While I’m relieved, as a New Jersey official, that Delaware gambling interests will not be given the opportunity to get a head start on sports betting – thereby attracting tourists away from Atlantic City’s casinos – I continue to find it ridiculous that consenting adults in New Jersey, Delaware and forty-five other states cannot legally bet on sporting events, while citizens in three states essentially maintain a monopoly on legal sports betting.
“Everyone should have a level playing field, and right now, PAPSA tips the odds in favor of just three states where legal sports betting is allowed. It’s in everyone’s interests to overturn PAPSA, and allow states to take a measure of control over their own destinies when it comes to sports betting.”