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SBD/Issue 236/Sports & Society
Delaware Officials Awaiting Clarification On Sports Bet Ruling
Published August 26, 2009
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SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM: In Wilmington, Sean O'Sullivan reports legal experts were "all surprised" by the appeals court's ruling, when it was "expected only to rule on a motion for a preliminary injunction." Willamette Univ. law professor Jeffrey Standen said the ruling was "hasty," "ill-advised," and "unnecessary judicial lawmaking." Northeastern Univ. professor Roger Abrams said that he was "particularly stunned by not only the court's changing the apparent rules for the game ... but also the speed at which it did it." But appellate attorney Thomas Neuberger contends the ruling was the "judicial system at its best" and showed the "federal court can move just as quickly as the state court." Neuberger added that it "looked like the attorneys for Delaware 'were caught unawares and weren't really ready for this. ... They were outplayed'" (Wilmington NEWS JOURNAL, 8/26). In Philadelphia, Dick Jerardi analyzes Delaware's next move, and writes, "Hard to see any good ones, as the court was very decisive in its ruling. An appeal is possible, but, given the time constraints, with the opening of football season almost here, it is difficult to see an obviously good tactic for the state." The state has the option of appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court, but "given that the Supreme Court is just about to begin a new term and has many weighty matters on its agenda, it likely would be very difficult to get a hearing any time soon, if ever" (PHILADELPHIA daily news, 8/26).
DOUBLE STANDARD: The WASHINGTON EXAMINER's Jim Williams writes the four major sports leagues and the NCAA won the case because "gambling on sports in any way threatens to destroy the very fabric of the games that are played." But NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell can "stop at a newsstand and choose either a Giants or a Jets New York lottery ticket with their official logo being used to entice people to gamble," and NBA Commissioner David Stern can "bring his fellow commissioners to watch the WNBA play games at Mohegan Sun Casino." Williams: "But thank goodness sports are safe from legal gambling in Delaware" (WASHINGTON EXAMINER, 8/26). In Providence, Jim Donaldson writes, "Obviously, the NFL isn't opposed to gambling." If fans can "buy a Patriots lottery ticket, then you ought to be able to bet on the Patriots to beat the Bills" (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 8/26).