NJ Gov Christie Rejects NBA Commissioner Silver’s Offer, Calling It a “Bait and Switch” Tactic

A few days after NBA Commissioner Silver made a call for NJ Governor Chris Christie to join him in addressing sports betting issues, by directing their attention to Congress and by coming up with a federal framework for Congress to consider, Gov. Christie stated in a televised interview that the NBA Chief is merely executing a “bait and switch” tactic.

The Garden State leader thinks it is kind of crazy for Commissioner Silver to ask him to join a movement for legalized sports betting on a national level, while at the same time be the head of one of the major professional sports leagues that have been blocking Gov. Christie’s attempt to have legalized sports betting in New Jersey.

Since 2012, the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), the Major League Baseball (MLB), including the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), have joined forces to thwart such attempts by filing lawsuits against NJ legislators, Gov. Christie and the state’s association of thoroughbred horsemen.

The NJ governor calls NBA Commissioner Silver’s offer a “bait and switch” tactic, and with candor rejected the sports league chief’s premise. He said that if Commissioner Silver really thinks that legalized sport gambling is the right solution, then he (Silver) should let the State of New Jersey allow sports gambling activities in its jurisdiction and serve as the model for the proposed federal framework.

The governor together with the state lawmakers and the state horsemen association have lost in all legal battles waged against them by the sports leagues consortium since 2012. Only last November 2014, the sports leagues including the NBA, succeeded in securing a TRO that prevented the NJ leader, state lawmakers, and Monmouth Park racetrack operators, from carrying out activities related to SB 2460. The senate bill is the most recent sports betting law enacted in the Garden State, which partially lifted the existing sports betting ban imposed in accordance with the 1992 Professional Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). However, the district court judge agreed with the contention that allowing sports betting on sports matches even on a partial basis would still increase incentives for “game rigging.”

“Bait and switch” is actually a marketing strategy termed as such, because the technique entails baiting consumers with hard to resist and seemingly, advantageous product offers but only as a means for enticement. The technique is regarded as largely deceptive since the ultimate goal is to lure customers into buying an expensive product, which a merchant will offer as substitute for the original low-priced but beneficial offering, usually on the pretext that the advertised product is out-of-stock or no longer available.

Apparently, Gov. Christie considers Commissioner Silver’s proposal to bring his sports gambling cause to Congress, a mere bait to lure him in a bigger arena where there is greater improbability of attaining his goal. As Delaware Governor Jack Markell had commented in a separate interview, he believes that the U.S. Congress is too dysfunctional to pass legislation that would change the existing sports betting laws.

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