A new sports betting bill has been approved overwhelmingly by New Jersey legislators. The bill now sits at Governor Christie’s desk awaiting approval.
This news comes only 1 week after the Supreme Court refused to hear New Jersey’s appeal of the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA). So instead of having their inclusion in that act overturned, NJ lawmakers have devised the strategy of actually repealing the prohibition on sports wagering.
Christie’s upcoming response to the bill is difficult to predict. On one hand he has been backing the gambling movement in NJ by approving the online gaming efforts a year ago and pushing for the exclusion from PAPSA. However, upon learning the Supreme Court left in place the sports betting ban, Christie responded “So you know, that’s the way it goes. Nothing more I can say. They said no, so we have to move on.”
He sounds defeated and perhaps uninspired to continue fighting this battle. It also remains unclear whether this bill will truly be enough for New Jersey to proceed legally despite federal bans. There is precedent though considering 4 other states are exempt from PAPSA, and some states have taken the same anti-federal stance with regards to marijuana legalization.
We will keep you updated on this developing story.