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Panel Upholds Anti-betting Laws

District Judge Michael Shipp ruled that some of the questions raised in the case were novel, but he suggested the best united states way to change the U.S. law was to get Congress to repeal or amend the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. Tuesday's appellate ruling, by a 2-1 majority, reinforced Shipp's view. "We are cognizant that certain questions related to this case -- whether gambling on sporting events is harmful to the games' integrity and whether states should be permitted to license and profit from the activity -- engender sports betting strong views," judges wrote. "But we are not asked to judge the wisdom of PASPA or of New Jersey's law, or of the desirability of the activities they seek to regulate. We speak only to the legality of these measures as a matter of constitutional law ... New Jersey's sports wagering law conflicts with PASPA and, under our Constitution, must yield." In a dissenting opinion, Judge Thomas Vanaskie agreed substantially with his two colleagues but differed in his interpretation of PASPA, a law that allowed state-sanctioned sports gambling only in Nevada and three other states. "PASPA attempts to implement federal policy by telling the states that they may not regulate an otherwise unregulated activity," Vanaskie wrote. "The Constitution affords Congress no such power." Gov. Chris Christie's spokesman on Tuesday reiterated that the administration would take the case to the Supreme Court if necessary.

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