The State of New Jersey’s dreams of legalizing sports betting were boosted slightly on Tuesday when the US Supreme Court asked the US Solicitor General to file a brief on the matter.

It’s a move that will actually delay the court’s decision as to whether it will take on the case at all, but it’s also given the New Jersey gambling industry a reason to be optimistic.

The court’s decision means that the Justices want to have more information on the case from their own research department, the US Department of Justice and the Solicitor General.

Unfortunately, for anyone who was hoping for a quick decision, the US does not currently have a Solicitor General. Thanks to the transition of power from the Obama administration to the incoming administration, that position is still waiting to be filled and it could be months before it actually is filled.

While they’re not crazy about waiting, the Garden State’s gambling boosters were feeling optimistic about the court’s most recent decision/delay. In a statement to NJ.com, State Senator Ray Lesniak laid out the situation saying:

Obviously, the justices are split and want to delve into this issue more deeply. That’s a good sign. What’s bad about this is it’s going to delay any decision for six months, and maybe even more. But it’s worth the wait.

Legal sports betting would, indeed, be worth the wait. It would, for a short time anyways, give New Jersey racetracks and casinos a major advantage over their regional rivals. If successful, sports betting could literally save Atlantic City from its never-ending death spiral.

What impact legalized sports betting would have on the state’s massive illegal sports betting market remains to be seen.


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