09/08/2014 2:51PM

New Jersey directive allows sports betting

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie issued a directive Monday allowing the state’s casinos and racetracks to offer sports betting effective immediately, an unusual move that is sure to be challenged by sports leagues that had won earlier court rulings finding that sports betting in the state would violate federal law.

The directive, which was issued by the state’s attorney general to all law-enforcement agencies in the state, including local police, states that New Jersey will exempt any casino or racetrack from criminal or legal liability for offering sports betting as long as the bets are not made on any sporting event that takes place in New Jersey or involves any New Jersey collegiate team.

The directive is the latest twist in a two-year effort by New Jersey to open up the state to sports betting, in part to mollify Atlantic City casino interests that have suffered from the rapid expansion of gambling in the Northeast over the past decade. Monmouth Park also has offered its support for the legalization of sports betting.

Dennis Drazin, the head of the horsemen’s group that is leasing Monmouth Park from the state, praised the directive in a statement released Monday. In the statement, Drazin said that sports betting would be offered at Monmouth “in the very, very near future,” without being specific.

The legislature passed a law in 2012 allowing sports betting at casinos and racetracks, but the law was challenged by most major-league sports organizations and the NCAA. Both a U.S. District Court and an appeals court ruled that offering sports betting would violate a federal law passed in 1992.

The Christie directive cites a narrow portion of both rulings contending that the 1992 federal law does not prohibit states from removing their own prohibitions on sports gambling. However, that position does not address the federal prohibition that still applies to sports betting, and opponents of the practice are likely to seek stays of the activity while they appeal to federal courts.

redboy More than 1 year ago
Makes total sense ! Who in their right mind would bet on the Giants anyways
[removed] More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It doesnt work that way. Nj legal books wont take just any pawn off of unwanted action.
mikey More than 1 year ago
They will take a hot stove.William Hill is a bunch of blood sucker's.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sports betting will corrupt nfl and college football. Just like horse racing. The vig and takeout are just not enough cash. Gotta fix the games.
Robert Clayton More than 1 year ago
It's in violation of Federal Law....How come they don't get that? There is no chance this could ever happen.....If they do get up and running they will be shut down immediately and never open again and will have wasted all that money setting up a system that is doomed to fail......Do you realize how much funding that States get from the FEDs for roads, etc.? If it comes down to that the FEDs will say ok take your $15 bet on the Cowboys and we will withhold hundreds of millions in aid......Sports Betting barely is a winner anyway for the casinos......
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Chris Krispy Krene is the same as C Todd Whitman they both are terrible for NJ racing!
Richard Kennedy More than 1 year ago
I'll believe it when I see it. The C0RRUPT Federal Judges have ruled against every case thas been presented in Federal Appeals Courts. It's a travesty that ONLY Vegas has Sports Betting. States lose Millions in revenue to bookies/organized crime. Still, I give Gov Chistie and others credit for trying!!
Russell Rieckenberg More than 1 year ago
Actually Delaware also has sports betting.
Cookie Smith More than 1 year ago
Done deal !! Everything changed when Silverman came out recently supporting legalizing sports betting anywhere.. He was the first commissioner to come out and support the move..
John Griffin More than 1 year ago
Fatty won't shut down the Buffet Line...
Boyd Cord More than 1 year ago
The Fattie announces this after a 2 billion dollar casino shuts down after 2 years in business. He's killing Horse racing and NJ. Can't believe fattie shut down the GW bridge.
mikey More than 1 year ago
He shut everything but his mouth.
mikey More than 1 year ago
Great but Drazin taking the credit is a joke.He owes this to the guys who worked hard in the background.He had next to nothing with this movement.Hope Monmouth uses this money to fix up this great track from falling apart.