By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
Taking another step beyond his September administrative action to stop prosecuting sports wagering in New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie signed legislation on Friday (S-2460) that removes prohibitions blocking sports wagering in the Garden State.
“As I’ve said all along, I am a strong proponent of legalized sports wagering in New Jersey,” said Gov. Christie in a press release. “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.”
It’s a compromise piece of lawmaking. Certain collegiate sports contests and athletic events are immune from the law per the New Jersey Constitution mandates (a major sticking point for opponents to legalization); moreover, those under age 21 can’t participate.
The legislation enjoyed strong bipartisan backing.
“I am pleased that our legislation removing state prohibitions on sports betting was signed into law so quickly. Monmouth Park has been preparing for this to happen and is poised to start taking bets in the upcoming days,” said Sen. Joe Kyrillos of Monmouth County, who has worked with colleague Ray Lesniak (a Democrat) to whip support for the effort. “Sports betting will provide a financial lifeline that will help protect jobs at Monmouth Park and Atlantic City casinos. The legislation was drafted based on guidance from federal courts, and we trust it will stand up to any future challenge.”