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Critical Two Weeks Ahead For US Sports Betting

The next two weeks could be groundbreaking for the US sports betting market. As we reported earlier in the week New Jersey Governor Chris Christie instructed NJ Attorney General John Hoffman to issue a directive to law enforcement to refrain from prosecuting racetracks and casinos that operate sports betting.

Christie’s bold move is aimed at overriding the Supreme Court’s ruling that banned sports betting. He also filed a request for clarification to seek approval that the state in not in violation of any federal law by legalizing sports betting.

The major sporting bodies like the NCA and professional sports leagues have directly opposed the notion of legalized sports betting as they believe it would harm the integrity of professional sports. The leagues have only two weeks to respond to Christie’s latest move with US District Judge Michael Shipp scheduling a hearing for October 6.

The million dollar question is whether the leagues will continue their opposition to Christie or follow the lead of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver who recently stated that sports betting will become a reality whether we like it or not.

One of the strongest supporters of legalized online gaming and sports betting in New Jersey is Senator Ray Lesniak. He has in the past openly declared his intention for the Garden State to become one of the global meccas in online gambling. He believes the leagues will not attempt to fight Christie further and will instead go with the flow and enjoy the revenues that sports betting would create. In an interview with ESPN the major leagues like the NFL, NBA and NHL declined to comment on their possible reaction to Christie’s moves. The MLB and NCAA stated that they are preparing a response.

Opponents to the likes of Sen. Ray Lesniak like that of State. Sen. Jennifer Beck believes that the leagues will put up a fight to stop Christie. She was adamant when asked the question and was quoted as saying “They absolutely will, No question.”

Some interested parties like Monmouth Park are not waiting to see if and when sports betting is legalized. They are confident that the Christie’s directive will stick and they have already announced plans to train over 100 employees in anticipation of them offering legal sports betting.

The precedent set in New Jersey could well be used by other states to circumvent the courts which will be forced to adopt an active approach to the issue of legalizing sports betting. This is in sharp contrast to their passive approach adopted until now which has left many grey areas open when it comes to the issue of gambling in general. Gov. Christie has a lot to gain or lose in the next few weeks. He is laying both his personal and political prestige on the line. It will be fascinating to see if he has the last laugh over the Supreme Court.

Author: Victor

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