NJ Moves Ahead with Sports Betting Plan [AUDIO]
State officials have issued regulations to New Jersey racetracks and casinos - to allow them to set up sports betting operations beginning in September.
Last November, Jersey voters approved a sports betting referendum, by a margin of 2-to-1, then the legislature passed a sports gambling bill, and Governor Chris Christie signed it a short time later.
During his latest town hall meeting in Piscataway, Christie said the just-released rules, "allow folks at our racetracks in the state - Meadowlands and Monmouth , Freehold - and our casinos - to start to build out for sports gambling… we know this is happening all over the country - and I don't understand why Congress thinks that only Nevada has the right- and there's three other states that have a diminished right - but the other 46 have no right at all to have sports gambling."
Christie points out, "It's happening around us every day - the NFL is complicit in issuing point spreads as is the NBA, and the NHL…so I think we should take this out from the underground - legalize that."
He adds legalizing sports betting would provide at least an additional 100 million dollars a year for the state, and also, "in the regulations that we passed, we said that 50 percent of any revenue that the state gets from that has to go to compulsive gambling programs - we know that we get people who are already compulsive gamblers illegally - if we make it legal we'll probably have as many or more - so we need to deal with that issue."
Christie also says sports betting, "would be a good thing- we've issued the regulations - I am sure I'm going to get sued - to try to stop it - and then we'll fight it out in federal court and see where it lands."
State Senator Ray Lesniak, the legislative lead sponsor to legalize sports wagering in the Garden State, says, "the move by the Christie Administration represents one of the final steps in our long journey towards the repeal of an unfair, and ultimately, unconstitutional ban on sports wagering …to those with a vested interest in the status quo - the professional sports organizations who take a hypocritical stance that wagering will ruin the purity of the game, and the Nevada-based gaming conglomerates that have enjoyed that state's stranglehold on sports wagering for the last twenty years - I respectfully say, 'Bring it on.'"