New Jersey Moves to Legalize Sportsbetting

In America, there are only four states which are allowed to offer sportsbetting, and New Jersey is not one of them. However, the state’s Governor Chris Christie is committed to legalizing the activity in New Jersey, defying the federal ban that prohibits the state from offering sportsbetting activities to its residents. 

Currently, Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana are the only states in America which are allowed to offer sportsbetting to their citizens. The legislation making this possible was passed in 1991. New Jersey could have become the fifth state to offer legalized sporsbetting, but failed to apply in time.

Now, Governor Christie is determined to pass sportsbetting legislation in New Jersey, allowing residents to wager on games like football and basketball at a wide range of outlets. He states that he does not aim to overturn the law, simply legalizing the activity in just one state. However, Christie does expect that legal action may be taken against New Jersey to prevent the legislation from passing.

Chris Christie is not the only person in New Jersey that wants to see sportsbetting legalized. A referendum was held last falls, during which residents could vote on whether or not they would like the ability to wager on sporting events. The results were 2-to-1 in favour of sportsbetting legislation. 

In 2012, a law was passed that would allow casinos and racetracks in Atlantic City to offer sportsbetting activities to their patrons. However, due to the federal law which prohibits it, there is the chance that any casinos who offering sportsbetting could face having their operations shut down. 


I don’t know who’s going to want to be the first to open knowing they can shut you down”, Tony Rodio of Tropicana Entertainment said in an interview with York Dispatch. “We’d need a lot more clarity before we invested lots of money in a sports book."


So, it will be interesting to see which casino operator will be first to take the leap into sportsbetting in New Jersey. While many of them support the idea, none of them want to be the first to offer their own sportsbook. 


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