By Mark Abrams
TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) – A federal judge in Trenton, New Jersey says he hopes to have a decision within two weeks after hearing oral arguments Thursday on the constitutionality of a law that would prohibit New Jersey from moving forward with sports betting.
U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp heard nearly three hours of arguments on the federal law passed in 1992 which limits sports betting to Nevada and three other states.
Lawyers representing four professional sports leagues and the NCAA, who have sued New Jersey, argued the law is constitutional. Former U.S. solicitor general Theodore Olson, representing New Jersey, however, claims the law violates the constitution’s commerce clause, and puts New Jersey’s sovereignty in jeopardy.
A lawyer for the state’s horseman’s group told the judge thousands of jobs would be lost if Monmouth track and Atlantic City’s casinos weren’t allowed to offer sports betting.
A statewide voter referendum resulted in passage of legislation signed by Gov. Christie last year to begin setting up sports betting in the Garden State, but that’s on hold now as a result of the lawsuit and the constitutional challenge.