New Jersey's appeal of a sports betting ruling continued last week in front of a three-judge federal appeals court in Philadelphia. It's not known when a fresh ruling might come down, but Governor Chris Christie has said that if New Jersey loses the appeal, he will take the case to the US Supreme Court. At the moment, the sports betting news of the day is as follows: it is permitted by law in just four states - Nevada, Oregon, Montana and Delaware, three of which have limited, lottery-style wagering options. The state of New Jersey would like to join those ranks in offering sports betting at various locations, including its racetracks and Atlantic City casinos. And actually, it's already state law. But the various North American sports leagues and the US federal government don't like that idea, and recently received a favorable court ruling in their efforts to keep sports gambling from expanding into the Garden State. So while Jersey has driven the ball down close to the goal line, the leagues and the feds have thus far kept it out of the end zone, to the dismay of New Jersey state officials and sports bettors across the country. Two years ago New Jersey voters approved a sports gambling referendum, and Gov. Chris Christie signed it into law last year. But the NCAA, NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball and the NHL have joined forces with the US Justice Department to oppose what New Jersey is trying to do, and in February got a federal judge to rule in their favor, putting the state's plans on hold. According to the wagering news site Wagering.ca, the sports leagues oppose increased legalized betting for three main reasons; they're afraid it will undermine fans' confidence in the integrity of the games; they're concerned players might be tempted to provide inside information to outside sources/potential bettors; and they fear for the long-term popularity of the sports. Estimates vary on how much is wagered illegally on sports in the US, from $200 billion to $500 billion, although those figures also include office pools, fantasy leagues and other venues that would not be covered by the New Jersey law. Of course, none of that is taxed at any level. With almost every state in the union in some kind of financial straits, revenue raised from sports gambling would be a welcome addition in state capitals around the country. And if New Jersey eventually succeeds in its efforts to offer sports betting within its borders, other states would surely follow.