The state of New Jersey is going up against the federal court system in an effort to legalize sports betting. The revenue from sports betting taxes is great, and one critic–David Stern, commissioner of the NBA–claims his home state is more interested in making easy money than the welfare of the residents. However, others say that the recovery of New Jersey from Sandy and the recession is what’s really driving Governor Christie’s plan.
On the other hand, all that really matters is that New Jersey takes a legal approach to anything that happens. Gov. Christie has the support of the Legislature and the majority of voters when it comes to legalizing and taxing sports betting. After all, the state already has Atlantic City, and the various casinos and racetracks are an obvious platform for betting. However, only four states currently allow sports betting, and New Jersey isn’t one of them–is that about to change?
Some people in New Jersey, including Gov. Christie, say that the law is discriminating against the other states and violates the 10th Amendment. However, the NBA vehemently disagrees along with a slew of other pro and college agencies including the NHL, NFL, MLB and NCAA. The big worry of these agencies is that it will make people think thrown games aren’t just routine, but acceptable. This might harm the entire sports business, and the Department of Justice agrees.
The movement has already been overthrown by Judge Michael Ship in February 2013, which was a given. However, New Jersey is now gearing up for an appeal and Gov. Christie isn’t stopping there. If that doesn’t work, the Governor has promised to take the issue to the Supreme Court. Some critics worry that New Jersey has some good motivation and points on their side–will it be enough to make New Jersey the fifth state for legal sports betting?
The New Jersey Angle
In Gov. Christie’s corner, there’s the fact that sports betting thus far hasn’t damaged the leagues. In fact, with over $3 billion in sports betting coming out of Nevada alone in 2012, it’s obvious that the practice is profitable for the leagues. March Madness is credited for over $200 million, which is twice as much compared to the profits from the last Super Bowl. This only encompasses legal sports betting, and experts guess up to $500 billion per year is made by those forced into underground sports betting.
Gov. Christie also has proof that leagues have no shame when it comes to favoring players, teams and using tactics to sway fans’ thoughts. The NCAA has also recently taken Newark out of the game for men’s basketball for two years, which is financially damaging the state. Internet gambling is nothing new, and the possibility of creating a more solid financial situation for the state is great. If New Jersey is allowed to get into sports betting, both online and in brick and mortar setups, the critics might be proven wrong.