Monmouth Park set to use sports betting `Nuclear Option’ – Asbury Park Press
He is the special guest at the APP Sports Awards June 14. But how much do you really know about Dickie V?
When acting U.S. Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall did not recommend that the U.S. Supreme Court hear New Jersey’s case to allow sports betting at casinos and racetracks in the state, it was the latest legal uppercut delivered to Monmouth Park in its effort to secure a much-needed alternative revenue stream.
But as has been the case in this courtroom drama that has stretched for more than five years and cost the state millions of dollars, no one seems ready to throw in the towel just yet.
Dennis Drazin, adviser to the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, which leases Monmouth Park, said he already has spoken to state legislators and hopes to move forward with a full repeal of PASPA – the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act – in New Jersey, which has been referred to as the “Nuclear Option.”
The state attempted a partial repeal in 2014 based on language in a decision by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, but it was successfully challenged by “the leagues,’’ a group comprised of every major sports league and the NCAA, which has fought the state’s efforts throughout.
“We’re moving forward with the full repeal,’’ Drazin said. “We’re anticipating Supreme Court won’t take the case, so we’re anticipating trying to get that moved sometime next month.
“We certainly know from all the courts and the briefs from the leagues and the solicitor general that a full repeal is something that cannot be challenged. Now, the leagues may try to go back to court again, but every court has said if you want to do the full repeal we’re good to go, so that is the plan.
“Gov. (Chris) Christie has been a strong supporter, and would I would anticipate he would support this move, also.’’
Monmouth Park spent $1 million to build the William Hill Sports Bar, which could be quickly converted into a sports wagering facility.
There is clearly an appetite for legalized sports wagering in the state. In 2011, voters in New Jersey passed a ballot question allowing casino gaming at racetracks and Atlantic City casinos, thus challenging the constitutionality of PASPA in the state.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of legislators,’’ Drazin said. “This is a multi-billion dollar industry in this country that is really benefiting the crime families by continuing to let PASPA stand. This is going on everyday anyway. People are betting more and more online, betting with bookies. It’s not going to really change anything except it’s going to bring it out of the closets and into the open.
“Does it make sense? Sure it makes sense. Part of gambling public is always going to bet with bookies, but you would probably have half the business moved to a safe location where they can feel secure that they will get paid, and if they can’t pay, they won’t get their kneecaps broken.’’
In addition, Rep. Frank Pallone, representing New Jersey’s 6th District, is reintroducing legislation in Washington that would repeal PASPA.
The Gaming Accountability and Modernization Enhancement Act, or GAME Act, looks to remove federal barriers, giving oversight authority to the Federal Trade Commission and put the onus for consumer protection on individual states when it comes to sports wagering.
Stephen Edelson: firstname.lastname@example.org