Speaking on a sports radio show this month, Christie criticized the federal government for restricting sports betting while simultaneously allowing states to legalize recreational marijuana even though it's illegal under federal law.
Chris Christie (R) and his allies in the state legislature have passed two different laws legalizing sports wagering at the state's racetracks and casinos since 2012.
If New Jersey's appeal is successful, it could lead a wave of states to pass laws legalizing sports wagering, or force Congress to reconsider its current federal gambling laws.
"We are pleased the Supreme Court appears to have responded favorably to our arguments as to why they should hear this important case", Mr. Freeman said. The court made a decision to accept the state's appeal even after the Trump administration urged the justices not to get involved.
One of the cert petitions argues that the federal law amounts to a "federal takeover of New Jersey's legislative apparatus" that is "dramatic, unprecedented, and in direct conflict with this court's 10th Amendment jurisprudence barring Congress from controlling how the states regulate private parties". The case will be argued in the fall. He hopes that legal sports betting can help the state's economy, particularly beleaguered Atlantic City casinos.
Most recently, in August 2016, the Third Circuit ruled that New Jersey's law repealing a ban on sports gambling violated the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, a federal law that bars states from authorizing sports betting.
PASPA has faced increasing challenges as states seek to tap into the potential revenue streams that sports wagering offers.
The Supreme Court's decision to hear New Jersey's challenge is the latest development in the state's years-long battle to legalize sports betting. The legislation included several exceptions, including an allowance for sports betting in Nevada and three other states that had already authorized limited wagering on sports contests. Supporters of New Jersey's efforts see it as a states' rights issue. An NHL expansion franchise in Las Vegas, the Golden Knights, will begin play this fall.
And is anyone still pretending that sports betting isn't the main propellant for the NFL?
But apparently some justices feel that the sports betting landscape has changed so much over the past five years that the case needs another look.
Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia and Wisconsin have joined with New Jersey in appealing the decision to the Supreme Court.