New Jersey Sports Betting Bill Signed by Gov. Christie Into Law
A bill legalizing sports betting in New Jersey was signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Chris Christie, but only after a federal prohibition on such type of gambling is overturned.
The measure, which was just signed by Gov. Christie, had received overwhelming affirmative votes in both houses of the New Jersey Legislature. The bill makes it legal to bet on professional and collegiate sporting games at the state’s four horse tracks and in Atlantic City casinos.
Next in line is a court battle that seeks to overturn a federal statute that bans sports betting in all but four states. If the state prevails and the law is either repealed by Congress or overturned by the courts, it could potentially free all fifty states from the prohibition on sports betting.
Sen. Raymond Lesniak, a Democrat from Elizabeth, has said, “This is the beginning of the end for the unfair, discriminatory and unwise federal ban on sports betting. It has failed to curb the public’s desire to bet on sporting events. Indeed, betting on sports has increased exponentially since the ban passed Congress.” Sen. Lesniak is the most vocal proponent of the measure.
During a non-binding referendum held in November, voters indicated by a two-to-one margin that they wanted sports betting to be legalized.
Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, a Democrat from Essex County, said, “New Jersey voters made clear they want sports wagering, and this law will handle it in a responsible and professional fashion. It does the right thing for New Jersey, and will ensure our racetracks and casinos remain competitive. Our job isn’t done, but this is great economic progress for our state.”