Online sportsbooks and Las Vegas can breathe a sigh of relief after Chris Christie the Governor of New Jersey vetoed a bill on sports betting. Christie said that ignoring the federal law is counter-productive to the country’s democratic traditions.
Christie vetoed a measure that would have opened the door to sports wagering in racetracks and casinos in New Jersey.
Christie rejected the legislation that would have had New Jersey circumventing a federal ban on gambling on professional as well as college sports in New Jersey.
Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the state’s case, which meant the ban remained.
While Christie helped lead a spirited effort legally in an attempt to change the existing law, he said he could not join an attempt to circumvent the court.
Christie said ignoring federal law, instead of working to reform the standards, is not in line with the country’s democratic traditions and is inconsistent with the values of the Constitution that he was sworn to protect and defend.
Both chambers of the New Jersey Legislature overwhelmingly passed the measure in June, just days after the ruling by the country’s top court.
Christie, who currently is considering running for the presidency, was indifferent when the legislature passed the measure, saying the court said no, so it was time the state moved on.
Ralph Caputo a Democrat and a sponsor of the legislation called the decision by Christie disappointing. He said the state was running out of its options for finding ways to raise much needed revenue.
The legislation he said would have given a much needed injection of revenue for Atlantic City as well as for the racetracks in the state.
The legislation was a viable opportunity to raise revenue and help to rejuvenate the casino industry in New Jersey, and we failed to take advantage of it.
Christie said he would be open to looking at other approaches to allowing sports betting that complies with the country’s federal laws.
The state has fought for years in its attempt to overturn legislation that allows sporting betting in only four states in country where sports betting is legal and the federal law will not be overturned any time soon.