WASHINGTON, D.C. – On August 25, 2015, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals published its decision that sports betting is prohibited by federal law. This decision effectively ends New Jersey’s efforts to revitalize the state’s gaming industry through sports betting on amateur and professional sports leagues.
“This decision should serve as a wake-up call to legislators and proponents of sports betting: trying to legalize sports betting through the courts is not a viable strategy,” said attorney Jeff Ifrah, who has closely followed New Jersey’s sport betting fight since the beginning. “It is unfortunate that the courts reached their resolve in this way and that they were unable to bring this activity to the voters of New Jersey, who stated that they are in favor of sports betting in a 2011 referendum. The take away for the industry should be that it’s time to change its tactics.”
The recent court battle began in 2014 when New Jersey repealed its prohibition on sports betting. Several amateur and professional sports leagues opposed the measure and asked the courts to prohibit the repeal. The District Court granted their motion and enjoined the state from allowing sports betting. The state appealed this ruling; an appeal which the Third Circuit Court denied on Monday.
In mid-August, Jeff and his colleagues at Ifrah Law called for sports betting proponents to forego their attempts to use the courts to move sports betting forward. “The industry cannot jam an anti-PASPA agenda through the courts,” Jeff warns, “What is needed now is a strong push in Washington led by an association of legitimate players in the industry.”
Ifrah Law has proposed that a visionary leader step up to serve as a quarterback for the sports betting industry. This person would develop a coalition of industry players who would use their influence and skill to engage legislators in Washington, D.C. in a dialogue about sports betting’s legality. The firm is convinced that creating such an association, led by a dynamic industry insider, is the only way to move sports betting forward in light of the Third Circuit’s opinion.
About Ifrah Law:
Ifrah Law is a Washington, D.C.-based law firm that represents clients in a variety of litigation settings. Founded in 2009, the firm specializes in Internet advertising, igaming, government contracts and healthcare. Its attorneys also author three noted blogs: www.ifrahonigaming.com, covering all aspects of online gaming, www.crimeinthesuites.com, an analysis of current issues in white collar defense, and www.ftcbeat.com, FTC and State AG News for Ecommerce.