Last Friday New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed bill AB3711 into law which overturns existing sportsbetting bans in state and allows for sportsbetting to be legal.
The bill had recently passed through the State Senate and House of Assembly by overwhelming margins, and will make it so that state authorities will not enforce the federal Professional Amateur Sports Protection Act.
New Jersey residents voted to legalize sportsbetting in 2012, and Governor Christie signed a bill into law which was eventually overturned by a federal court after opposition by the federal government and professional sports leagues. Because of that ruling Governor Christie later issued a decree making sportsbetting legal in New Jersey, and the state's legislators backed that up by passing this bill.
Gambling proponent and the bill's author Ray Lesniak commented on the bill, saying: "This will help clear away the legal obstacles and provide a clear path to finally bringing sports betting to New Jersey. It couldn't happen at a more important time. It will be a lifeline to Atlantic City casinos and for the horse racing industry, creating jobs and economic opportunities that will serve the city and the state for years to come. Sports betting is now much closer to a reality in New Jersey."
In related news, the New Jersey Attorney General has withdrawn the state's request to have US District Court Judge Michael Shipp clarify his ruling that issued an injunction preventing sportsbetting. This decision occurred because Governor Christie believes the new measure complies with existing federal laws and satisfies all objections that were spelled outing previous cases.
Commenting on his signing the bill into law Governor Christie said, "As I've said all along, I am a strong proponent of legalized sports wagering in New Jersey. But given earlier decisions by federal courts, it was critical that we follow a correct and appropriate path to curtail new court challenges and expensive litigation. I believe we have found that path in this bipartisan legislative effort."
Although many casinos and racetracks are likely to jump onboard and begin offering sportsbetting in New Jersey, the Monmouth Park racecourse is likely to be the first, announcing that it intends to begin offering wagers by October 26th.
Casino Listing will update this story as more developments arise.