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Federal Judge Blocks Sports Betting In New Jersey

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A federal judge in New Jersey has ruled against legalizing sports betting in New Jersey.

In a decision released late Thursday, U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp in Trenton, N.J., issued a permanent injunction barring New Jersey from offering sports betting.

Shipp sided with the four major pro sports leagues and the NCAA. The organizations sued last year after Gov. Chris Christie signed a sports wagering law and announced plans to award licenses starting in 2013. The U.S. Justice Department later joined the leagues' suit.

Ray Lesniak Reacts To Sports Betting Ruling

The New Jersey law wanted to allow sports wagering at Atlantic City casinos and the state's horse racing tracks. It would exempt games involving New Jersey colleges or college games played in the state.

Sen. Raymond Lesniak called Shipp's ruling disappointing.

"Sports betting would allow New Jersey to be in the forefront of the modern gaming industry, creating jobs and providing both immediate and long-term economic benefits," Lesniak said in a statement.

"Well the judge punted and we have no hope of changing Congress's mind. There's no will there to give to the people of the state of New Jersey what they've given to the people of the state of Nevada and Las Vegas," Lesniak told WCBS 880 reporter Levon Putney.

So, that's why Lesniak says they're now taking this fight to the Court of Appeals.

"Where I believe we'll get a fairer hearing," he said.

He said the plan is to argue that Congress right now is giving Nevada an unfair advantage.

"Where during Super Bowl week you cannot get a room and Atlantic City's is a ghost town," he said.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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