No common ground in Del. sports betting

    A federal judge’s plea that the two sides in the Delaware sports betting lawsuit play nice and let him review the case on his own timetable has fallen flat.

    A federal judge’s plea that the two sides in the Delaware sports betting lawsuit play nice and let him review the case on his own timetable has fallen flat.

    Lawyers in the lawsuit brought by the four major sports leagues and the National Collegiate Athletics Association couldn’t agree on the compromise sought by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Gregory Sleet.

    Sleet asked last week that both sides “stand down” from their legal maneuvering, in return for his pledge to hear quickly the suit against the First State’s plan to allow sports betting.

    The judge asked Delaware to postpone taking any bets on single pro football games, or any other sports, and asked the plaintiffs (the National Football  League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball and the NCAA) to abandon their quest for a preliminary injunction to stop the start of sports betting.

    Plaintiffs seek a preliminary injunction when they fear that the defendant will take some action that will change the situation that is the topic of a lawsuit.

    Instead, the leagues’ lawyer, Kenneth Nachbar, asked the Court to require Delaware to “stand down” from its sports betting plan while the Court moves forward on a “less hurried timetable.”  Or, Nachbar suggested, Sleet could schedule a summary judgment hearing to decide the case before the start of the NFL season in September.  Otherwise, the leagues intend to pursue an injunction.

    The State’s counsel, David Margules, says the Court should refuse an injunction and schedule a trial on a “prompt but reasonable schedule”. He says Delaware could be ready for trial in about five months.

    There is a hearing before Sleet scheduled for Wednesday.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.