Monday September 08,2014 : GOV CHRISTIE DOES TURN AROUND ON NEW JERSEY SPORTSBETTING (Update)
Effort to counter Atlantic City's recent dismal performance?
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has surprised many with a combined Statewide directive issued through the Attorney General's office and a motion filed on behalf of Christie in the U.S. District Court allowing casinos and racetracks to operate sports pools without fear of criminal or civil liability.
Long running opposition to the introduction of sportsbetting has seen millions of dollars being spent on legal costs by New Jersey, the sports leagues and the US Department of Justice as the case to overturn the PASPA was dragged through the courts
Industry observers surmise Atlantic City's dismal performance may be the impetus behind Christie's turn around. Three of its twelve casinos have closed their doors, with a fourth expected to suffer the same fate. According to Associated Press, around 8000 casino workers will have lost their jobs since January.
A statement released by Christie’s office said: "The Attorney General’s Statewide Directive follows the Third Circuit’s ruling and concludes that nothing under New Jersey law prevents casinos and racetracks from operating a sports pool effective today.
"The motion in federal court, filed on behalf of Governor Christie, asks Judge Shipp to clarify or modify his February 2013 injunction in conformance with the decision of the Third Circuit. Based on the arguments of the sports leagues and the United States Department of Justice, the Third Circuit has already ruled that New Jersey can carry out sports wagering as described in today’s Statewide Directive. The motion would clarify and formalize that authority and give clear guidance to casinos and racetracks waiting to open a sports pool in New Jersey."
Vociferous sportsbetting proponent New Jersey State Senator Raymond J. Lesniak expressed his delight at the directive via Facebook and Twitter social media saying:
"Sports Betting Victory At Last! NJ Attorney General, John Hoffman, has issued a directive to law enforcement that prohibitions on Sports Wagering in casinos and at racetracks would no longer be enforced. He also has filed a motion with the US District Court (Judge Shipp) seeking "clarification or modification" of the injunction prohibiting enforcement of the NJ Sports Wagering Law."
Lesniak expects the professional football, baseball, basketball and hockey leagues, as well as the national Collegiate Athletic Association, to challenge the move, but predicts: "They don't have any arguments left to make, this is all over but the shouting", reported the New York Daily News.