New Jersey to Legalize Sports Betting as Gov. Christie Changes Course

Casino Watch Focus has routinely reported on the almost 4 year old battle by New Jersey to legalize sports betting. After the Supreme Court rejected recent legislation by New Jersey, the legislature tried a new approach with its legislation that ultimately resulted in a veto by Gov. Christie. The issue seemed to be resolved, resulting in the state walking away from legalizing sports betting. Now, in a reversal of course, Gov. Christie has decided to make another attempt that he believes will allow sports betting in the state’s casino’s. Forbes explains:

In a move designed to save the remaining fast-drowning casino franchises in New Jersey, the Chris Christie administration reversed course and paved the way to legalize most sports betting earlier this week.

After a four-year fight in the courts and among state legislators, the governor’s office issued a directive telling casinos and racetracks that they won’t be held civilly or criminally liable for prosecution by law enforcement. The only remaining hurdle is to have the state’s motion approved by the federal district court. That is slated to be decided on Oct. 6.

Blayne Davis, author of a new book on illegal sports betting entitled “Wild Game”,
does not think the federal government will stand in New Jersey’s way. “They will not endorse it or make policing it a priority. Economic reality will prevail and I believe several states will follow,” he explained. “It will be akin to their stance on recreational marijuana in Colorado.”

Monmouth Park Racetrack has indicated it would offer sports betting as soon as next month. The only restrictions on betting will be on college teams or any events, professional or college, held in the state.

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