WASHINGTON — New Jersey’s long quest to overturn a federal ban on sports betting won support from some U.S. Supreme Court justices Monday, leaving Gov. Chris Christie and other supporters optimistic about the state’s chances.
“I thought the hearing went great,” Christie said afterwards on the steps in front of the Supreme Court building. “This is the fear of every governor, that we’ll be at the mercy of the federal government and that they’ll make us pay for it. It’s not right and I believe here that it’s very clear that the federal government overstepped its bounds.”
Legalized sports betting would be “the lifeblood of Atlantic City and our racetracks,” said state Sen. Raymond Lesniak, D-Union, the legislature’s biggest proponent of sports betting.
The crux of the argument by the state’s attorney, veteran litigator Theodore Olson, was that the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, designed to ban sports betting in 46 states, was an unconstitutional attempt by Washington to tell the states what to do.
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