Fresh off being named no. 1 in the Star Ledger’s 25 Most Influential Sports Figures list on the grounds of his continued support for legalizing sports gambling in the state, New Jersey governor Chris Christie reiterated his stance on fighting to have sports gambling approved in his state, and in other states for that matter.
The governor was direct, candid, and to the point during a recent co-hosting gig on the “Boomer and Carton in the Morning” show in New York. Of the multitude of topics discussed during the show, Christie reserved his most impassioned points on the subject of legalizing sports gambling in New Jersey, pointing out how it was “ridiculous” that his state cannot legalize gambling on sporting events. Yet for all of his frustrations on the issue, the governor did express confidence that the state will ultimately win out in the court battle against the four major professional leagues in the country and the NCAA, even if it has to go all the way to the Supreme Court.
“I think New Jersey is going to be victorious ultimately,” Christie said on the “Boomer and Carton in the Morning” show earlier this week.
“There is no reason why Las Vegas, the state of Nevada, should have a monopoly on sports gambling.”
The battle lines between the state and the sports leagues were drawn when New Jersey voted to legalize sports gambling in the state after passing a referendum on the issue. Soon thereafter, state lawmakers, led by Christie and Senator Ray Lesniak, enacted a law that would slowly allow sports betting to be offered in Atlantic City casinos and numerous horse racing tracks throughout the state.
But that didn’t sit too well with the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, Major League Baseball, and the NCAA, all of whom somehow found enough time from their businesses to challenge the law in court on the grounds that legalizing sports betting in the state would “undermine the integrity of their sports”.
The leagues later won a ruling on the issue after a federal judge ruled that Congress has the right to regulate sports gambling, which was described as an interstate industry.
But Chris Christie isn’t a man who takes temporary setbacks lying down. He’s determined to see this battle through to its last drop of blood and tears, even if it has to go through Congress and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada (a huge voice in trying to keep sports betting in Nevada) in the process.
If this case does end up in the Supreme Court, Chris Christie will be right there, front and center, to ensure that New Jersey, and all other states that isn’t spelled N-E-V-A-D-A, will have the choice to offer sports betting within their borders.