Sports Betting Headed to Racetracks in New Jersey

Governor Chris Christie with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who probably does not have his thumbs up today (Photo credit: New Jersey Governors Office)

Just a month after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed two bills passed by the state legislature that would have struck down the state’s prohibition on sports gambling, he issued a directive Monday allowing the state’s casinos and racetracks to offer sports betting.

According The New York Daily News, the governor said he took his cue from previous federal court rulings that found that nothing in New Jersey law prohibits the casinos and horse racing tracks from offering sports betting.

“Based on the arguments of the sports leagues and the United States Department of Justice, the 3rd Circuit has already ruled that New Jersey can carry out sports wagering as described in today’s statewide directive,” the governor’s office wrote in a statement. “The motion simply would clarify and formalize that authority and give clear guidance to casinos and racetracks waiting to open a sports pool in New Jersey.”

Atlantic City has been hard hit by the expansion of gambling in nearby states, and by allowing the casinos and tracks to add sports betting, Christie hopes to rejuvenate the gambling business in his state.

The directive bans any sports betting on events held in the state or on colleges located in New Jersey. Christie said casinos and tracks are able to start taking wagers immediately with no fear of criminal or legal liability.

The professional sports leagues and the NCAA are very likely to fight this directive in court, so stay tuned before moving to the Jersey Shore.

 

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