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New Jersey's Nuclear Option

New Jersey's Nuclear Option

New Jersey Might Do Something Really Dumb If They Don’t Get A Hearing With The Supreme Court Soon

The Supreme Court Justices met on Thursday to make their decision on which cases they would hear this year. Among them was Christie Vs. NCAA et al, up for consideration. This case is New Jersey’s latest attempt at legal sports betting for its casinos and racetracks.

A number of obstacles have been stacked against this case. In fact, it isn’t even the first case for legal sports betting in New Jersey. It is the second case to come up for review, the first making it through circuit courts before being denied a hearing. Christie vs. NCAA has followed a similar path to its predecessor, although has been under consideration for much longer than the first case. Most recently, though, the Solicitor General told SCOTUS they didn’t need to hear the case, as it had no constitutional backbone to stand on.

The Court will officially announce its decision on Monday, June 26th. If they decide to hear the case, then New Jersey’s attempt for legal sports betting might have some new life breathed into it. But if the state is denied a chance to argue their case in front of SCOTUS, then they’re basically back to square one where they started in 2011.

If the case cannot pass go, New Jersey does have a couple of options to consider for their next step. They can do what they’ve been failing at for quite some time, which is repeal parts of their own laws on sports betting and then get taken to court. They can also appeal to the US Congress for a change in federal law. But those both take time and New Jersey is impatient. Which leads lawmakers to another last ditch effort they can make, which many have called their “nuclear” option. New Jersey could repeal the entirety of their sports betting laws.

This would mean that basically anyone and everyone in New Jersey could offer sports betting without legal ramifications.

So the casinos and racetracks and off-track betting shops would be able to offer sports wagering of any kind to players of legal gambling age. Which sounds really great, because who on the east coast would fly all the way to Nevada when they could go to New Jersey? It would boost tourism in the struggling New Jersey gambling cities and would help bring in lots of revenue and probably some new jobs as well.

But removing every single sports betting law in New Jersey would also open the doors right back up to back alley bookies and organized crime pretty much running the gambit on sports betting. And no one really wants that to happen. I mean, this is called the “nuclear” option for a reason.

Not only would it open the door to a criminal element that New Jersey spent decades trying to get rid of, it would also basically end the careers of every politician that votes in favor of the bill. Allowing legalized crime to enter the state isn’t the most popular way to get reelected.

You might be wondering why they would consider this option in the first place if it’s going to be so detrimental. The hope is that if they do this, Congress would be forced to take action and repeal PASPA, so that New Jersey could enact laws that would create regulations for legal sports betting and get rid of the criminal element once more.

But even if Congress did take immediate action and met and tried to pass something that would repeal PASPA – it wouldn’t take effect overnight. The House would have do make a bill, put it through committees, vote on it, pass it and send it to the Senate where it would have to go through the same thing. If even one committee doesn’t like the verbiage used, it’s back to square one. Legislation that everyone wants to pass still takes months to years to go through the process. So why New Jersey thinks that basically turning their state into a crime haven is the right way to handle this is beyond me. It’s the same logic a three-year-old has when they don’t get their way – if I throw a temper tantrum, Mom will have to give me what I want to make me stop behaving badly.

It doesn’t work like that, New Jersey.

LegalGamblingUSA is hoping that there’s no need for a nuclear option anytime soon. Even if SCOTUS does deny the state a hearing, they should exhaust all other options. And then if that doesn’t work, they should just not do anything and accept the fact that they have lost. It’s better than creating an all new gangland.