HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveVolume 19Issue 7New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Appeals Sports Wagering Rule

On Wednesday March 13, 2013, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, along with the other defendants in the federal lawsuit filed by professional sports leagues (the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball) and the NCAA challenging the recently enacted New Jersey sports wagering law, filed respective Notices of Appeal related to the U.S. District Court’s recent decision issuing a permanent injunction barring New Jersey from implementing its sports wagering scheme.  See“U.S. District Court Issues Ruling in New Jersey Sports Wagering Case”, Michigan Gaming Newsletter, Vol. 19, Issue 5, March 1, 2013.  Joining Governor Christie in the appeal are David Rebuck, Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, Frank Zanzuccki, Executive Director of the New Jersey Racing Commission, Stephen Sweeney, President of the New Jersey Senate, Shelia Oliver, Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly and the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horseman’s Association.

The case will now move to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia  that will review, among other issues, the District Court’s decision upholding the constitutionality of the Professional and Sports Protection Act (“PASPA”), the federal law prohibits the expansion of sports wagering outside of the licensed Nevada sports books and certain limited lottery games and non-banking sports pools previously authorized in Oregon, Delaware, and Montana. The State of New Jersey contends that PASPA is unconstitutional in a number of respects, in part, because it prohibits sports wagering in 46 of the states, yet “grandfathered in” certain sports wagering schemes in the four other states. 

Many in the gaming industry have predicted that this could potentially create issues that need to be resolved at the United States Supreme Court level. Governor Christie has said publicly that he will indeed appeal to the Supreme Court, if necessary.


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