Garden State Goes All In: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Seeks to Add Sports Betting

If you’re anything like the average sports fan you probably filled out a bracket for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, also known as March Madness. You also probably entered a pool — whether with your friends or your family or your co-workers — and put some money on it. And unless you saw those upsets by Norfolk State and Lehigh — be honest, no one did — then your bracket was busted and you lost.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is challenging the federal government on sports betting.

Losing bets aside, Chris Christie invites you to bet some more on other sports, no matter what the federal government says. Christie, the governor of New Jersey, said his state will allow people to bet on sports despite the ban set by the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, which outlaws sports betting outside of Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana.

Here are Christie’s thoughts on the ban: “If someone wants to stop us, then let them try to stop us.” Not exactly conservative rhetoric from a Republican during an election year, huh?

There are signs the state was pushing closer to this, most notably the non-binding referendum on betting and a vote that passed 2-to-1 from the public.

Early reaction seems generally positive on the move, pointing to the fact that states should have a choice on the matter and that allowing public betting will take away the dangerous underground nature of the practice that already exists.

If this goes through, this would be huge for the popularity of sports. Think fantasy sports on steroids. It would give casual fans another reason to lock their attention on a Week 6 NFL game or check their smart phones for the score of the late-season NHL contest. Of course regulating the practice would be a hassle, which is why many are skeptical of the proposal passing.

Either way, Christie has gone all-in on sports betting.

Photo (cc) by Bob Jagendorf and republished here under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.


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