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In re Petition of Casino Licensees for Approval of A New Game

December 17, 1993

IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION OF CASINO LICENSEES FOR APPROVAL OF A NEW GAME, RULEMAKING, AND AUTHORIZATION OF A TEST


On certification to the Superior Court, Appellate Division, whose opinion is reported at N.J. Super. (1993).

Chief Justice Wilentz, Justices Clifford, Handler, and O'hern, and Judges Pressler, Petrella, and Coleman join in this opinion.

Per Curiam

Per Curiam

The judgment is affirmed, substantially for the reasons expressed in the opinion of the Appellate Division, reported at N.J. Super. (1993).

Chief Justice Wilentz and Justices Clifford, Handler, and O'Hern, and Judges Pressler, Petrella, and Coleman join in this opinion. Justices Pollock, Garibaldi, and Stein did not participate.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE COMMITTEE ON OPINIONS

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY, APPELLATE DIVISION

A-1264-93T5

IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION OF CASINO LICENSEES FOR APPROVAL OF A NEW GAME, RULEMAKING AND AUTHORIZATION OF A TEST

Argued telephonically: December 3, 1993

Decided: December 9, 1993

Before Judges King, Havey and Stein.

On appeal from a determination of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission.

Joel H. Sterns argued the cause for appellant (Hannoch Weisman, P.C., attorneys; Mr. Sterns, of counsel; Mark D. Schorr and Joseph A. Fusco, of counsel and on the brief; Karen A. Confoy on the brief; Mr. Sterns and Mr. Fusco on the supplemental letter brief).

John R. Zimmerman, General Counsel, argued the cause for respondent New Jersey Casino Control Commission (Mr. Zimmerman on the brief).

Peter N. Perretti, Jr., argued the cause for the intervenors (Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti, attorneys; John P. Sheridan, Jr., on the letter brief; Mr. Perretti on the reply letter brief).

The opinion of the court was delivered by

A. M. STEIN, J.A.D.

We accelerated this appeal, filed on November 18, 1993, permitted the professional major leagues to intervene and promptly heard oral argument.

We affirm the determination of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission that it has no constitutional or statutory authority to authorize sports betting in New Jersey's gambling casinos.

Appellants are the operators of all twelve licensed gambling casinos in Atlantic City. Intervenors are the leagues conducting major league professional sports in this country: the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and the Commissioner of Baseball. Earlier this year, the Legislature chose not to vote on a joint resolution to place a referendum on the ballot permitting a proposed constitutional amendment authorizing casino betting on sports events. The Leagues were among those who vigorously opposed submission of this proposed constitutional amendment to the voters.

Thereafter, on November 15, 1993, the Casinos filed a petition with the Commission seeking a determination that the 1976 state constitutional provision authorizing casino gambling and the regulatory legislation enacted pursuant to it authorized sports betting operated by casinos as a "gambling game" permissibly conducted in those establishments. N.J. Const. art. IV, ยง 7, P 2D. Attached to this petition was a comprehensive set of proposed regulations, modeled after those adopted in the state of Nevada where sports betting is legal. Sports betting, called "sports wagering" in the proposed regulations, is permitted on all sports events, professional and amateur, with the exception of sports contests in which there is participation by an educational institutional or non-professional organization principally ...


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