Sunday August 10,2014 : CHRISTIE KILLS NEW JERSEY SPORTS BETTING BILL
Governor thinks PASPA is unfair, but feels that the rule of law is sacrosanct.
With a Monday deadline for signature looming , New Jersey governor Chris Christie finally made up his mind Friday to impose his absolute veto on a bill that would have opened up sports betting in New Jersey despite the federal limitations of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.
In exercising his right to veto Christie referenced the various court actions around New Jersey's previous attempt to overturn the PASPA, where the courts ruled against the state in litigation launched by the national sports leagues and the Department of Justice.
Whilst he still supported the idea that New Jersey should be allowed to accept sports wagers, and disagreed with the findings of the courts, Christie said, he now felt the issue had been decided, and the rule of law was both sacrosanct and binding on all Americans.
But the politically savvy New Jersey governor did not entirely abandon the idea that somehow, somewhere, it may be possible for the PASPA's restrictions to be by-passed.
He made the point that he remains open to suggestions that would allow New Jersey to take sports bets, as long as these are compliant with federal law.
State Sen. Ray Lesniak, who drove the new bill to an overwhelmingly positive vote in the state legislature after the US Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal against the original litigation, was clearly a disappointed man, claiming the governor had abandoned the legalization and that his veto would have a damaging impact on the state's ailing land casino and racetrack industry.
Lesniak said that both Houses in the state legislature had overwhelmingly approved the new bill, and he was considering approaching state lawmakers with a view to persuading them to challenge the governor's veto.
House of Assembly Democrat Ralph Caputo, a sponsor of the legalization, called Christie's decision disappointing and said the state is running out of options for raising revenue.
Having spent millions of dollars on the various court actions and new legalization, New Jersey still has no legal sports betting, no solution to its declining gambling business… and now has a disgruntled state legislature.