Just days after Adam Silver’s declaration that increased sports betting in the United States is “inevitable”, the state that the NBA — along with the other major leagues and the NCAA — had previously fought against legalizing sports betting, has now given casinos and race tracks the gambling green light. Governor Chris Christie issued a directive Monday morning allowing for the immediate implementation of sports betting in New Jersey:
“Based on the arguments of the sports leagues and the United States Department of Justice, the 3rd Circuit has already ruled that New Jersey can carry out sports wagering as described in today’s statewide directive,” the governor’s office wrote in a statement. “The motion simply would clarify and formalize that authority and give clear guidance to casinos and racetracks waiting to open a sports pool in New Jersey.”
Christie’s sweeping directive still bans wagers on collegiate sporting events in New Jersey, as well as bets on New Jersey colleges involved in out-of-state competitions. Senator Raymond Lesniak, who had sponsored a bill to legalize sports betting, was obviously enthused by Christie’s declaration.
Stop the presses. NJ AG declares sports betting at casinos and racetracks legal under my legislation. I’ll take The Giants to cover tonight
— Senator Ray Lesniak (@SenatorLesniak) September 8, 2014
“Victory at last!” crowed state Sen. Raymond Lesniak, one of the legislature’s strongest supporters of sports betting. “People should book their hotel rooms in Atlantic City for the Super Bowl now because there won’t be any available in February.”
Although, that’s probably not the best choice of words, considering one-third of Atlantic City’s casinos are closing this year.