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Wanna Bet Who’ll Win? U.S. Government Joins Lawsuit against Sports Betting in NJ

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice filed papers in a New Jersey federal court, joining a lawsuit that seeks to block New Jersey from implementing a law to allow betting in sports.

The controversial law had been signed last year by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to allow sports betting at racetracks and at the casinos in Atlantic City. The law required racetracks and casinos to apply for licenses in order to open betting operations in amateur and professional sports.

A number of college and professional sports leagues immediately filed a lawsuit in August alleging that the law would violate federal restrictions.

The organizations that originally brought the lawsuit include National Collegiate Athletic Association, the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League.

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The lawsuit claims betting in sports would “irreparably harm amateur and professional sports by fostering suspicion that individual plays and final scores of games may have been influenced by factors other than honest athletic competition.”

Judge Michael Shipp denied New Jersey’s request to have the lawsuit dismissed last month, and this Tuesday, he granted the U.S. government’s request to intervene in the case.

The arguments are scheduled to start on February 14.

The case is NCAA et al. v. Chris Christie et al., U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, No. 12-4947.

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