Sports industry at odds with state over sports betting in NJ

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As New Jersey waits for the U.S. Supreme Court to make a decision on whether to allow sports betting in the state, the sports industry continues to try to fight against it.

The NBA and MLB have sent former athletes to lobby politicians.

Former major league pitcher and New Jersey native Al Leiter says that it is about integrity.

“Every player knows the severity of [betting] on your sport. It is a death penalty,” he says. “We know the story about Pete Rose, and certainly the Black Sox and Shoeless Joe Jackson.”

But some sports officials say that allowing sports betting could help the industry.

“I don’t think it would impact the team,” says Josh Harris, co-owner of the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Seventy-Sixers. “It might help it. Might help the finances of the league."

Harris says that it would be up to the league commissioners.

The Supreme Court could make a ruling on the case Monday. Arguments in front of the high court in December revealed a battle between states and New Jersey.

“New Jersey has been told it may not regulate an activity that’s taking place in New Jersey. All over New Jersey there’s illegal gambling going on,” said attorney Ted Olson who is arguing the case for New Jersey.

“Just the way you say that Mr. Olson, the federal government is saying to the state you can’t do something,” replied Justice Elena Kagan.

If the Supreme Court rules in favor of allowing sports betting, Gov. Phil Murphy says that it could become law in New Jersey sooner than later.

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