The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the case tied to New Jersey's efforts to legalize sports betting, ending a two-year legal battle and setting up what may be a last-ditch effort by state lawmakers in the coming months.
In orders posted Monday morning, the court denied requests filed by the Chris Christie administration, state lawmakers and a thoroughbred horseman’s organization, all seeking to overturn the 22-year federal law that bans sports betting in all but four states. The high-profile case has pitted the state against the NCAA and the four major professional sports leagues, which challenged a 2012 state law that would allow Garden State casinos and racetracks to take wagers on athletic events.
The state has argued the law is unconstitutional, but has been turned aside by judges at several levels, including a federal appeals court in September.
State Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union), one of the top advocates for legalizing sports betting here, said last week that he had a contingency plan if New Jersey was rebuffed by the Supreme Court. He said he would move to introduce legislation that would sanction sports betting at state racetracks and casinos in time for the NFL season.
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