A federal appeals court on Tuesday said New Jersey could not enforce a 2014 law permitting wagering on sports, a decision that could end a years-long effort to allow such betting in the state.
By a 10-2 vote, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia said the New Jersey law conflicted with a federal law limiting sports betting to a handful of states, including wagering in Nevada and lotteries in Delaware and Oregon.
Writing for the majority, Circuit Judge Marjorie Rendell said the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act prohibited most states from adopting sports betting.
“We acknowledge the 2014 (New Jersey) law’s salutary purpose in attempting to legalize sports gambling to revive its troubled casino and racetrack industries,” she acknowledged.
A spokesman for newly installed New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino, whose office defended the law, declined to comment.
The law had been New Jersey’s latest effort to institute sports gambling, after voters amended the state’s constitution in 2011 to permit it.
Sports leagues including Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, the National Hockey League and the National Collegiate Athletic Association were among those opposed to the practice.