US Update: Bad News for Online GamblingPublished August 11, 2014 by Hila K
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoes bill that would legalize online sports betting; California Senator Lou Correa will no longer be pushing for the legalization of online poker.
New Jersey's Chris Christie Vetoes Sports Betting Bill
Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would legalize sports betting within the state, reversing his prior public stance on the issue. The bill still has a slim chance of being passed if the New Jersey legislature brings forth a veto override; this would require a 2/3 approval by the Senate and House.
Christie's veto means that as of now, a 2011 federal appellate court decision will remain in place. While this decision banned New Jersey from implementing legalized sports betting, it left open a legal loophole that would allow its legalization, just without formal state oversight.
On August 1st, Christie wrote a letter giving notice that he would veto the bill, citing that it was not fair to take advantage of this loophole. He wrote that the “bill partially deregulates betting at casinos and racetracks in an effort to sidestep federal law. While I support the intentions of the Legislature to continue our shared commitment to enhancing the economic viability of our gaming industry, I cannot sign this bill.”
Speculators think that another reason behind Christie's reversal is the possibility that he will be running in the next presidential election in 2016, and online gambling is not popular among Republicans.
California Online Gambling Bill on Hold
California Senator Lou Correa announced that he will no longer be pushing his online-poker bill ahead, as there is not enough time left in the current legislative session to “refine” the bill. Correa has been one of the main proponents of online poker in California, but has had to wade through some difficult political mire in his battle for legalization. When his term ends, he will not be running for re-election, which means that tribal backers of online poker will need to find another advocate.