SBD/December 27, 2012/Sports In SocietyPrint All
In denying the state of New Jersey’s request to dismiss the lawsuit by the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB and the NCAA, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Shipp “agreed that they have standing to file the suit because expanding legal sports betting to New Jersey would negatively affect perception of their games,” according Porter & Shipkowski of the AP. Shipp in his ruling “cited studies offered by the leagues that showed fans' negative attitudes toward game-fixing and sports gambling.” NCAA Associate Dir of PR & Media Relations Stacey Osburn said the organization was "pleased with the court's ruling." She added, "The NCAA has long maintained that sports wagering threatens the well-being of student-athletes and the integrity of college sports." U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), who has “worked in the House to change the federal law, decried Shipp's decision.” He said, “It is absurd for the professional sports leagues and the NCAA to claim that they will suffer injuries as a result of the legalization of sports betting in New Jersey” (AP, 12/22). In New Jersey, John Brennan wrote the date that “stands out now is Jan. 20 -- not Jan. 9, which had been the date that the state could start issuing its first sports betting licenses.” But the state also “agreed to give 30-day notice to the court and to the leagues of any such granting -- which takes us past Jan. 20 at this point. (Translation: Don’t book that February Super Bowl betting party at Monmouth Park just yet.)” Shipp "has no easy way out of this case: not conferring standing to the leagues would have been controversial, but having passed on that one, he now runs squarely into an unavoidable issue: the entire case rests on whether Congress’ law is constitutional” (NORTHJERSEY.com, 12/22).