New Jersey Governor Signs Sports Betting Bill Into Law
Despite protests and threats to sue, New Jersey Governor, Chris Christies, has signed a bill legalizing sports betting in casinos and racetracks in New Jersey. If the NCAA, NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB can block the bill with an injunction, Monmouth Park and other racetracks will begin offering sports betting by October 26.
Governor Christie’s lawyers have said that a federal appeals court, last autumn, signaled that New Jersey would be able to pass a law legalizing sports betting in racetracks and casinos, as long as the state of New Jersey had no role in regulating it.
In a statement released by Christie’s office on Friday, the Governor has said that the bill “closely adheres to controlling federal law.” The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, being the law in question and the same law that the various Sports Leagues have said they will use in their case against Christies and have said that it is a “flagrant violation of federal law”.
The NCAA, NBA, NFL, NHL and the MLB have compiled a written complaint, which read: “For years, New Jersey has been attempting to devise a way to get around these unambiguous prohibitions and authorize sports gambling in Atlantic City casinos and horse racetracks throughout the state.”
In the past, the Federal law has limited the states that are legally allowed to offer sports betting to players within its borders. These states include the likes of Nevada, where most of the country’s sports books are located, as well as Montana, Oregon and Delaware who faced similar battles with the sports leagues and as such, is only allowed to accept wagers on NFL games.
Sports betting has faced a long and arduous fight for legalization in New Jersey with Christies himself vetoing two bill in the earlier parts of the year. Although he supported the bills, he did say that there were steps the state needed to take to ensure it did not violate federal law.The new bill, dubbed the S-2460, that Christies signed into law on Friday, partially repeals state prohibitions, permits, licenses and authorizations for sports betting.
“Obviously, a lot of hard work and effort went into this”, said Dennis Drazin, an attorney that represents the Oceanport Thoroughbred racing facility. “I think tht a navigator never distinguished himself on a calm sea. It’s been a long fight and we’re glad (Christie) has chosen a way to continue the fight to get sports betting in state. We look forward to any challenge from the leagues, if they want to come in and try to stop us. We think we’re in the right.”
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