Update on New Jersey Sports Betting Case

by , Sep 21, 2012 | 1:42 pm

I haven’t done a post on the NCAA v. Christie matter since early last month. There have been several letters in the court file back and forth between plaintiffs’ counsel and the New Jersey Attorney General’s office (representing Governor Christie and the other individual defendants), but the item I want to briefly mention here is the defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint.

I had suggested a possible challenge based on ripeness (see the original post from last month, linked above). Instead, the defendants have based their motion to dismiss essentially on something more fundamental: the issue of standing. Standing is basically the question of whether these plaintiffs are the proper parties to bring a matter before the court for adjudication. The plaintiff(s) must show an injury, that the defendants caused the injury, and that a favorable decision from the court will remedy the injury.

The brief in support of the motion is a good read, and I commend it to your attention. There is a compelling progression of the argument over ~26 pages, but the essence of the argument is in the preliminary statement, and worth quoting at length: “The Leagues’ vague claim of injury to ‘reputation and goodwill’ does not satisfy Article III’s injury-in-fact requirement. It is not just conjectural, but deeply implausible: Sports gambling toda enjoys a vast, but mostly illegal, market. With the blessing of the federal government, nearly $3 billion is wagered on sporting events each year in Nevada. But an estimated $380 billion is wagered each year on sporting events through illegal and offshore channels. Yet the Leagues’ complaint alleges no facts that would suggest that this nearly half-trillion-dollar preexisting industry has harmed the ‘reputation’ or ‘goodwill’ of the Leagues. Given that, there is no reason to believe that sports wagering in New Jersey will cause harm to the Leagues ever, let alone the imminent, ‘certainly impending’ harm that the Supreme Court has required for a party to have standing to seek prospective injunctive relief.” [Emphasis given.]

As an aside, I generally dislike italics and bolding. Overuse suggests that the reader is an idiot. Here, I think they’re used appropriately and to good effect.

The motion to dismiss is currently scheduled to be argued next month. Happy reading and stay tuned for updates.

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