New Jersey has another chance to make its case to offer traditional sports betting at Monmouth Park and other racetracks and casinos, getting a rare en banc rehearing Wednesday from the federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.
However, the schedule could be affected by funeral plans for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. No arrangements for Scalia had been announced Monday.
Attorneys representing Gov. Chris Christie, the state Legislature and the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association of Monmouth Park will have 30 minutes to argue their case to 12 judges including Maryanne Trump Barry, whose brother is Donald Trump, and Marjorie O. Rendell, the wife of former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.
An en banc hearing involves all the active judges on the court, rather than a smaller panel of judges.
“To get to this stage is a strong signal that New Jersey may prevail,” said Daniel Wallach, a sports and gaming attorney at Becker & Poliakoff. “The biggest obstacle for New Jersey was getting a rehearing, and that’s already done.”
The four major professional sports leagues and the NCAA sued in 2012 to stop sports betting in New Jersey, arguing that, in addition to conflicting with federal law, it would damage the integrity of the games and lead to a higher incidence of game-fixing.
The case drew the exra review after the Third Circuit judge who wrote the majority opinion in a 2-1 ruling that sided against the state in 2012 flipped last year when the case was heard again. The judge dissented in a second 2-1 decision against the state.
The judge, Julio Fuentes, commented that the two decisions by the same court are “precisely the opposite.” The first held that New Jersey could repeal its own laws against sports betting without violating a federal 1992 law, while the second held that doing so would violate it.
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