NJ Gov. Christie not bluffing on sports betting

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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is going all in on sports betting. The outspoken Governor gave the media plenty of controversial soundbites at a news conference Thursday discussing Atlantic City. The Governor addressed his plans to proceed with sports betting — even in the face of potential legal opposition.

Speaking on his plans to move forward with sports betting in Atlantic City, despite the current federal law which limits sports betting to four states, the Governor stated:

Governor Christie: “If someone wants to stop us, then let them try to stop us. We want to work with the casinos and horse racing industry to get it implemented. Am I expecting there may be legal action taken against us to try to prevent it? Yes. But I have every confidence we're going to be successful. "

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 outlaws sports betting nationwide with the exception of Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana.

New Jersey operates land-based, licensed casinos but is unable to offer sportsbook wagering. The state has made a concerted push off and on over the last three years to fight to offer sports betting. State Senator Raymond Lesniak filed a lawsuit in the US District Court claiming that the act discriminates against the states not exempted from the federal law. The senator's lawsuit has been endorsed by fellow politicians, such as California State Senator Roderwrick Wright, who SBR interviewed earlier this year. The California Senator is hopeful that the sunshine state will spread online gambling as well as sports betting in the future.

In addition to its quest to spread sports betting in its casinos, New Jersey is eager to be the first state to offer online sports, casino, and poker gambling; though Nevada is expected to be the first state in history to do so by Q4 of 2012.

According to a recent poll conducted by Adam Geller—Chief Executive Officer for Republican polling firm National Research Incorporated—74% of New Jersey residents are in support of legalizing internet gambling.

SBR interviewed Senator Lesniak in March, who expressed confidence that New Jersey would be knocking on the doors once online gambling in the United States becomes a reality, stating that New Jersey would become "the silicon valley of online gaming.".  SBR has a follow-up call with Senator Lesniak scheduled next week.

While Governor Chris Christie is certainly rallying the pro-gambling troops now, he did veto an internet gambling bill in March of 2011, citing regulatory concerns. The move cost New Jersey approximately $210 million in revenue, according to a statement given by Senator Lesniak during a State Assembly hearing this month. NJ lawmakers took steps to address the Governor's concerns in the last year, and many experts believe that New Jersey has all its ducks in a row to proceed onward with its land-based and online sports betting plan. Gov. Christie's bold declarations yesterday have seemingly rubberstamped that belief.

SportsbookReview.com has been the leading online sportsbook watchdog and news outlet since 1999.

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