They care about money. Here’s what happened:
Crimes, on the other hand, are wrongs committed against another person, or society as a whole–by definition, damaging another person’s body or property.
Court will rule on Chris Christie’s effort to legalize sports gambling in New Jersey
Danny Cevallos says sports leagues, federal government oppose the move
He says it’s not an objection on moral grounds; the foes just want their share of money
Cevallos: For New Jersey, the key is to stop the loss of casino jobs
New Jersey passed a 2012 state law legalizing sports betting in the state. It’s in Christie’s interest — and that of New Jersey — to revive the casino industry.
Just kidding. That was challenged by the NCAA, NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB, and the federal government in federal court. Don’t believe me? Fantasy sports–gambling havens of their own–are legal, and now an industry.
Of course, supporters of vice prosecution argue that the individual’s addiction or bad decisions always have an indirect collateral effect on society as a whole: Drugs and prostitution ruin neighborhoods, while booze and cigarettes impose a health care cost borne by all of us.
(CNN) — As a society, it seems we’ll always struggle with our vices. So, the New Jersey law allowing sports wagering was struck down, except that the court observed that the federal law banned a state from “licensing” or “sponsoring” sports gambling. When gambling is profitable to these entities and interest groups, it’s legal. The court held the state law conflicted with federal law, called PASPA, which prohibits engaging in a sports gambling scheme “pursuant to state law.”
By this logic, New Jersey could pass a law making sports betting legal in a casino, so long as the state had no part in regulating it. That sounds a lot like betting on games–but then again, who are we to question the wisdom of Congress?
Which means — and this is confusing — sports betting may be legal in New Jersey.
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Basically, if a state law conflicts with a federal law, and the federal exercise of power in that area is valid, the state law loses. These benevolent entities have every interest in preventing the moral scourge and corrosive addiction that is gambling.
The sooner the leagues figure out an infrastructure that siphons revenue from Grandpa Vito’s nasty penchant for blowing his pension check on the ponies, sports betting will magically become OK with pro sports. As it stands, a federal court of appeals has struck down a New Jersey law repealing a sports betting ban. Vices are personal choices made that harm one’s own body or property.
Sports wagering is probably next. It’s all about money.
The federal government and an association of sports leagues are opposing this move to legalize sports betting. The New Jersey Attorney General’s office has since directed law enforcement to refrain from prosecuting casinos and racetracks for running sports-wagering pools.
Placing a bet with your bookie at the bar is outlawed, but not because it’s intrinsically immoral. It’s the ultimate hypocrisy to suggest that there’s something evil about putting 50 bucks on the Eagles to cover the spread: a close to 50/50 wager. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. The NFL, for example, runs its own fantasy leagues, and licensed use of any NFL products is an additional revenue stream. But the government is happy to take your money on that bet.
. As long as the state offers some flimsy pretext about the money going to schools or senior citizens, we the people are placated.
Editor’s note: Danny Cevallos is a CNN legal analyst, criminal defense attorney and partner at Cevallos & Wong, practicing in Pennsylvania and the U.S.
While the Garden State has a “moral” dilemma, the leagues’ position remains the same: the 3rd Circuit decision doesn’t guarantee them any profit, so they will continue to oppose sports betting as they have so far in this case.
On October 6, a federal district court judge will entertain New Jersey Gov. Pal, you’re in your pajama pants and slippers, out in public, at noon on a weekday: Your “lucky numbers” are anything but “lucky.” Time for some new lucky numbers, and a job.
Here’s the fascinating part about the New Jersey case: The federal court of appeals held that the state could not sponsor or license sports gambling. That is apparently different than banning a state from making sports gambling legal.
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Ultimately, don’t think for a second that the leagues, the states or the federal government care about the morality of our gambling addictions. And then there’s gambling.
The nice thing about vices is that as they become more widespread, popular acceptance eventually overrides the law. Marijuana has become legal over time by slowly gaining ground, until users–and states–openly flouted federal criminal law. Our governments are less morally conflicted, it seems.
After all, state-sponsored gambling is already an entrenched part of our society in the form of the lottery. Follow him on Twitter: @CevallosLaw. The court voided the New Jersey law, finding it was pre-empted by the federal law.
That means you and I will continue to get stuck in line at the Kwik-e-Mart, behind some delusional nudnik spending money he doesn’t have on a handful of scratchers, or calling out his “lucky” numbers to the clerk. Chris Christie’s request to permit legal sports betting in the Garden State. That put Christie in a bit of a pickle: Is there any point in legalizing sports wagering if the state doesn’t get a piece of the pie?
The Unlawful Internet Gambling and Enforcement Act of 2006 makes an exception for any fantasy sports game with an outcome that reflects the relative knowledge of the participants (but not chance). Virgin Islands. And, of course, fantasy activities increase viewership; instead of watching only your team on Sunday, you’re going to watch every game and commercial featuring your fantasy players. When someone else is making the fun88 login profits, it’s magically illegal. What a surprise: In states where it is now legal it is taxed and regulated.
It has often been said that vice crimes are “victimless,” because each one of them involves a deliberate choice to inject, fornicate, snort or swill to the detriment of one person: the person with the bad habit.
So then, can sports betting become morally and legally acceptable in New Jersey, where the government is prohibited from licensing or sponsoring it? Traditionally, gambling has only been legal when the government can profit, but the governor and his attorney general have apparently decided that a devastating loss of jobs in Atlantic City justifies forgoing money in the coffers.
Trump Plaza is one of the Atlantic City casinos that has shut down.
The pro teams and leagues must be furious, right? Well, actually no. Another way the NFL benefits massively from fantasy sports.
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Make no mistake, the only reason lotteries are legal is because the government gets to wet its beak. Meanwhile, if you would like to buy a lottery ticket, those odds on the Powerball are about a bajillion-to-one. It’s illegal only because the government is not taxing it, and because the pro sports leagues are not getting a cut of the action. Prohibition didn’t work because we didn’t accept it. Standing in line for the lottery in your bathrobe in the early afternoon? Still legal, but really sad.
Whether it’s outlawing drugs, prostitution, even alcohol Prohibition, making vices illegal is problematic because it’s illogical. Believe me, if Apple figures out a way to fit prostitutes with one of those Square credit card readers for the iPhone to automatically deduct sales taxes and Social Security, well, just get ready for the UberEscort app is all I’m saying.
Confused? You should be. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has conceded what the rest of us have known for a long time: Legal sports gambling is inevitable.
That question might have been answered in the negative, if Atlantic City had not suffered big declines in the profits of casino businesses in 2013