NJ Betting Bid Accumulates $7.2m In Legal FeesJake Cooper | 09 Apr 2018
The American state of New Jersey (NJ) has reportedly gathered over $7.2 million in legal fees amid its fight to have sports betting legalised throughout the US.
According to reports from Observer, which recently conducted a freedom of information request alongside the New Jersey Division of Law, US legal firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher has charged the state well over $5.6 million to date. These charges were levied in exchange for the firm’s representation of NJ Governor Chris Christie in the state’s dealings between October of 2012 and August of 2017.
A different information request was also made by the Observer to the Senate Majority Office. This request uncovered the fact that a second legal firm – Gibbons PC – also invoiced the state for over $1.5 million in legislature fees for a period between December 2012 and February 2018. Gibbons PC has also issued invoices of over $77,000 to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority for legal services delivered between November 2014 and January 2015.
Fight For Legal Betting Continues
Justices of the US Supreme Court revealed their intentions to review a prior Philadelphia 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals decision that determined that the 2014 New Jersey statute allowing sports betting at racetracks and casinos violated the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA).
During verbal debates late last year, New Jersey argued its case for the legalisation of sports betting within the state’s borders. Representatives argued that PASPA removes states’ rights to enforce their chosen laws, therefore contravening the 10th Amendment of the US Constitution. It was at this time that Justices seemed to agree with NJ’s stance, with Christie noting that the state could be ready to legalise sports betting within just two weeks of any PASPA-related decision.
Still No Decision On PASPA Laws
However, after four months there has still been no formal decision made. This lack of action has come despite widespread speculation that a ruling could be made within the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, New Jersey’s mounting legal costs seem to be at odds with its growing budget deficit, which ratings agency Moody’s has estimated to rise to as much as $3.6 billion within the next five years.
With that said, New Jersey may still be playing a strategic game through its passionate sports betting lobbying, as the firm is aiming to bag a potential $150 billion piece of the American sports betting market. And with support from multiple states across the US, it could be only a matter of time before Americans are able to enjoy safe and legal betting services in their hometowns.