Christie: NJ will defy federal ban, allow sports betting
Gov. Chris Christie announced Thursday that New Jersey would defy a federal ban and move to allow betting on the outcome of basketball games, football games, and other sports beginning this fall, reports ESPN.com. He will make no attempt to overturn the 1992 federal law that limits sports betting to four states including Nevada.
Residents of the state voted 2-1 in a non-binding referendum to allow sports betting in the state. When the legislature earlier this year passed the law that would allow sports betting at Atlantic City casinos and the state’s four racetracks, Christie signed it. Robert Griffin, CEO of Trump Entertainment Resorts, said he supports Christie’s approach to allowing sports betting and applauds him for listening to the voice of the voters. Other casino executives supported the move but were cautious about moving forward because of the potential for the federal government to step in and revoke their license to operate.
“We intend to go forward,” the Republican governor said. “If someone wants to stop us, then let them try to stop us. We want to work with the casinos and horse racing industry to get it implemented. Am I expecting there may be legal action taken against us to try to prevent it? Yes, but I have every confidence we’re going to be successful.”
Sen. Raymond Lesniak said: “The sooner you make an issue of New Jersey’s noncompliance with an unconstitutional federal ban, the sooner we can defeat that ban in the courts, and put New Jersey on the same competitive footing as the rest of the nation when it comes to sports wagering.”