Sports Betting: NJ Governor Rejects NBA CommissionerPublished January 1, 2015 by Elana K
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie calls NBA Commissioner's offer of working together to create a federal framework for online sports betting a "bait and switch" tactic. Silver has been fighting against online sports betting in NJ since 2012.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is nobody's fool.
He made this abundantly clear when calling out NBA Commissioner Silver after he offered Christie to join him in creating a federal sports gambling framework for Congress to review. Governor Christie called Commissioner Silver's offer a “bait and switch” tactic, something that would attempt to distract Christie from the real issue at hand.
And what is the real issue? Legalizing online sports betting in New Jersey. As of January 2015, there are only three states that have legalized online gambling: New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware. But not all gambling is included in this, and New Jersey's governor has been working on adding sports betting to its repertoire on online offerings.
But while he has been working on it, others have been working against it. Since 2012, the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Baseball (MLB), including the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), have been fighting together on one issue: preventing New Jersey from legalizing online sports betting. Towards this end, the group has filed lawsuits (and won!!) against NJ legislators, Gov. Christie and the state's association of thoroughbred horsemen.
Hook, Line and No Sinker
Governor Christie's rejection of Commissioner Silver's offer follows a logical rationale: If Commissioner Silver thinks that online sports betting at a federal level is okay, why has he been attempting to prevent it from happening in New Jersey, at a state level? If New Jersey would be allowed to offer online sports betting, their framework could then be used as a model for a federal-level framework.
But Commissioner Silver and the other sports leagues are not interested in doing this; just recently, in November 2014, they secured a TRO that prevented the NJ governor from carrying out activities related to a senate bill that would partially lift the existing sports betting ban.
And so thanks, but no thanks. Governor Christie will not be forming any kind of alliance with Commissioner Silver any time in the near future.