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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a challenge brought by the state of New Jersey to a federal ban on state-sanctioned sports betting.
New Jersey voters in 2011 approved amending the state constitution to allow sports wagering. The legislature followed up with a law, signed by Gov. Chris Christie in 2012, that allowed betting — at casinos and horse-racing tracks — on professional, amateur, and some college sporting events. Supporters of the law said it would help the state raise tax revenue, increase tourism, and counter the flourishing illegal market in sports betting.
But the law was immediately challenged by the NCAA and by the professional baseball, football, basketball, and hockey leagues. They said it violated a federal ban, enacted by Congress in 1992, that was intended to stop the spread of sports betting. The federal law blocked 46 of the 50 states from licensing or allowing sports betting inside their borders. Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon were allowed to continue sports betting programs they had already begun.