The State of New Jersey has truly been fighting the good fight when it comes to their efforts to legalize sports betting and, maybe, alter the fate of Atlantic City. But now that it seems unlikely that the Supreme Court will be hearing their pleas, the state’s lawmakers are getting ready to go “nuclear.”

In this context,  ”going nuclear,” means having state lawmakers repeal the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act and letting the bookmakers take the field. It’s an act that’s not unprecedented in US history and could make New Jersey the sports betting capital of the country.

Should the nuclear option pass through the New Jersey House and Senate, it would create a very different vision of regulated sports betting than the one voters approved more than five years ago. The biggest difference is that in an effort to skirt recent legal decisions against the plan that limited sports betting to race tracks, it would allow sports betting throughout the state.

Sports attorney Daniel Wallach explained the concept in an interview with NorthJersey.com saying:

A complete repeal is the one option that would guarantee legal sports betting in New Jersey — right now. Unlike the 2014 partial repeal law (which was enjoined by the federal courts in Christie II), the complete repeal bill proposed by Assemblymen Caputo and Burzichelli does not attempt confine sports betting to a particular venue or location.

The problem with this scenario is that because the Feds have said New Jersey can’t license bookmakers, the nuclear scenario involves an almost “anything goes” environment for sports betting that could lead to big trouble down the line. But short of a Supreme Court ruling in their favor, which seems unlikely given the fact the Supreme Court is unlikely to even hear the case, this may be all that New Jersey has left.


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