Wednesday September 10,2014 : NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR ON LATEST SPORTS BETTING ANNOUNCEMENT
Christie gives a carefully worded update, saying that the state will not regulate, tax or give a view for or against sports betting in the Garden State.
Given the legal history of the New Jersey legalization of sports betting issue it is hardly surprising that governor Chris Christie chose his words very carefully in addressing a news conference Tuesday on his announcement earlier that day that sports betting enterprises would no longer be illegal in New Jersey.
New Jersey is exploiting one of the Department of Justice's successful arguments in recent litigation that nothing stops a state government from not enforcing the provisions of the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which confines sports betting to just four US states…New Jersey not among them.
Gov. Christie said the state government would have no role in either regulating or taxing sports books. He also said he would not encourage or discourage casinos or racetracks to get into the business.
The adoption of sportsbetting in the state is anticipated by some as an opportunity to boost tax revenues; they point to the state of Nevada, which racked up $3.5 billion in wagers during 2012, and the substantially larger New Jersey population, which has already indicated through a 2011 referendum that it has no objection to the introduction of intrastate sports betting.
The Associated Press news agency notes that in addition to legal sports betting, estimates of illegal activity indicate that hundreds of billions of wagers are made nationwide every year.
Christie's directive advises that sports betting is no longer illegal in the state, so long as it's not sponsored by the state government.
His administration has also filed a request with U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp in Trenton, asking him to clarify that the action is legal. Shipp was the lower court judge who killed off New Jersey's initial attempt to implement state sports betting legalization when the move was challenged by the NCAA, the US Department of Justice and the four major pro sports leagues last year.
Judge Shipp is expected to rule early next month, and it is likely that at least some operators will await that event before investing time and resources on sports betting.
One operator who will not be waiting for the judge's decision is Monmouth Park Racetrack, whose legal adviser Dennis Drazin told Associated Press Tuesday that his company hopes to start accepting wagers over the coming weekend, or if not feasible over the next 30 days.
Drazin said the Oceanport track has been working over the last year to prepare a room for its sports book and is working with the US division of international sports-betting firm, William Hill.
He added that bettor enthusiasm is high, with the NFL football games building demand from New Jersey sports punters