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Leagues blast N.J. sports betting law

| Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012, 8:34 p.m.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The major professional sports leagues and the NCAA say New Jersey's proposed sports betting law is hypocritical because it prohibits gambling on New Jersey college games yet allows it on all other college and pro contests.

The NCAA, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, National Basketball Association and National Hockey League are collectively suing to block New Jersey's sports betting law from taking effect; the state says it could take bets as soon as December.

In their response to New Jersey's efforts to have the case dismissed, the leagues note New Jersey says sports betting won't harm the pro or college leagues. Yet the leagues say the state forbids gambling involving N.J. college teams or any college game played in New Jersey.

“Nowhere in their brief do defendants attempt to explain why New Jersey has singled out its own teams and sporting events for protection from injuries that purportedly do not exist,” the sports leagues wrote in paperwork filed in U.S. District Court late Monday.

The state Attorney General's Office declined comment on the leagues' latest court filing.

New Jersey enacted a sports betting law in January, limiting bets to the Atlantic City casinos and the state's horse racing tracks. It is seen by supporters as a way to bring new revenue to the struggling casino and racing industries, and reclaim a portion of the billions of untaxed dollars flowing to organized crime or offshore gambling operations.

In May, Gov. Chris Christie said New Jersey would forge ahead with its sports betting law, despite a federal ban on legalized sports gambling in all but four states.

“We intend to go forward,” he said at the time. “If someone wants to stop us, then let them try to stop us.”

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