The state of New Jersey is intent on bringing legalized sports betting to its residents, and Governor Chris Christie is prepared to stop at nothing to get the sports betting legalized.
Christie has voiced his opinion on the issue several times this year, and is in the process of spearheading a movement to have a federal ban on sports gambling lifted. The 1992 law, which banned sports betting, is unconstitutional, according to the New Jersey governor.
“Every town in this state has people betting on football, baseball, basketball, hockey, on all the major sports, except not it’s being done by criminals,” said Christie. “What we’d like to do is bring it out in the open and have citizens of the state benefit from it.”
While Christie sees the positive ways that sports betting can help the economy in New Jersey, sports leagues are against any form of gambling expansion on their sport. The NFL, MLB, and NCAA have all written responses in the legal battle, asserting that they believe sports betting would compromise the integrity of their sports. That notion has been quickly refuted by Joe Brennan Jr., a lobbyist for the gaming industry.
“Americans do not have a problem finding ways to bet on sports,” said Brennan Jr. “Either the leagues are willfully blind or they’re just incredibly ignorant when it comes to sports betting.”
As many as a dozen states have considered legalizing sports betting over the past decade, and New Jersey voters were asked last year on a ballot measure to approve sports betting. The voters did so by an almost two to one margin. State legislators responded by passing a law permitting sports wagers at Atlantic City casinos.
The state currently is waiting on a ruling from the appeals court, and their case was strengthened when the Supreme Court made a recent ruling regarding equality amongst all states.
New Jersey has contended in their filings that because sports betting is legal in Nevada, other states should be permitted to offer sports betting as well.