Ball in Gov. Christie's court for iGaming in AC

NJ Gov. Christie delivers speech

Will New Jersey Governor Chris Christie sign legislation permitting internet wagering in Atlantic City casinos? Four New Jersey lawmakers as well as the majority of those living in the Garden State hope so, as a letter was sent to the good Gov. urging him to sign the bill into law.

“Given the fiscal conditions facing our casinos, especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and the recent movement toward Internet gaming in states across the country, we cannot afford to wait any longer,” said the letter contributed to by Senate President Steve Sweeney and state senators Whelan, Lesniak, and Van Drew.

Under the proposed bill, internet gambling would be possible on select games inside of AC casinos. It would not permit residents of NJ to wager online from home.

Christie famously vetoed a similar bill in 2011 citing regulatory concerns. The new legislation, S1565, addresses concerns voiced by the Gov. at the time, though most pundits believe his recent change of heart with respect to an expanded gambling culture in AC may be fueled by national political aspirations. 

Christie has since made headlines for his intent to license Atlantic City Sportsbooks, a historic move which aims to challenge the constitutionality of existing federal law. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 ("PASPA") limits sports betting to four US states: Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, Montana. Nevada is the only US state that accepts straight bets on sporting events; Delaware offers parlay betting.

Unfortunately for Christie and New Jerseyans in favor of more gambling liberties, the professional sports leagues and the NCAA are fighting to stop NJ from allowing casinos to accept sports bets, citing concerns of public perception on match-fixing causing financial harm. A current legal battle is underway in Trenton federal court. The proceedings are being refereed by District Court Judge Michael Shipp, who has already made one ruling in the case.

SBR will update as there are additional developments from New Jersey.

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