Christie Says Trump Is Not Likely to Legalize Sports Betting

Chris Christie on Sports Betting Case

Chris Christie said Monmouth Park would be open “within a week” if the U.S. Supreme Court agrees with New Jersey.

In his June 13 appearance on the Boomer & Carton sports radio talk show, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said the Trump Administration is not likely to allow sports betting without losing a Supreme Court case.

Christie disagrees with the ban on sports betting, but he suggested that he respects Donald Trump’s consistency on the matter. On the radio show, Christie discussed how the president’s stance is the same on “vice crimes” like gambling and marijuana — unlike the previous administration’s stances.

Chris Christie’s Friendship with Donald Trump

Gov. Christie, who once was a considered a GOP frontrunner for the 2016 Republican nomination for US president, was one of the first Republican politicians to support Donald Trump’s run for president.

Christie is winding down his second term as New Jersey governor, in a state where term limits assure he cannot run a third time. Here in his second term, the governor has sometimes co-hosted the Boomer & Carton radio show, perhaps brushing up his skills for a post-political career in broadcasting.

Christie on the PASPA Challenge

On this episode, Chris Christie was asked about legal and legislative cases involving New Jersey. The state’s 5-year campaign to strike down the anti-sports betting PASPA law was discussed, as well as the chances that an anti-online gambling law would be passed in the U.S. Congress.

Gov. Christie intimated that he knows Donald Trump’s thinking on gambling laws and he does not plan to sign a ban on online gambling. While he mostly discussed sports betting, Christie emphasized his belief that the new administration would not be hypocritical in enforcing so-called “morality laws”.

Christie on U.S. Marijuana Laws

The governor contrasted the Obama Adminstration’s differing stance on marijuana laws and sports betting in order to underline a case of what he considers hypocrisy. He said that the Obama Administration took a hardline stance on sports betting, while turning a blind eye to marijuana laws.

Christie said on the radio show, “They pick and choose. The Obama Administration said it was okay to legalize recreational marijuana, even though marijuana is still illegal on the federaly level. But the Obama adminstration said ‘No’ on gambling.

Trump Administration “Against Both”

When asked about Trump’s stance on both gambling and marijuana, Christie said, “I think they’re [the Trump Administration] against both. That’s why they go to the Supreme Court, to try to get them to trump the executive branch. No pun intended.”

Currently, the State of New Jersey has asked the Supreme Court to hear its appeal on the sports betting laws in the United States. Under the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), online and offline sports betting is illegal in 46 U.S. States. In three others (Delaware, Oregon, and Montana), sports lotteries are legal. In the fiftieth state, full sports betting at sportsbooks are legal.

Monmouth Park Case Before Supreme Court

New Jersey wants the right to offer legal sports bets at Monmouth Park and, ultimately, in Atlantic City casinos. The Division of Gaming Enforcement believes such gaming would be a major boost to the declining Atlantic City gaming economy. To do so, the state would have to strike down the PASPA law.

Since 2012, Christie’s administration has lost 5 different court cases involving the sports betting laws. The appeal to the Supreme Court is the last stop along the line, but there is a strong likelihood the high court will not hear the case. The court declined to hear a similar 2014 case from New Jersey, while the U.S. Solicitor General, Jeffrey Wall, recommended recently that the Supreme Court reject New Jersey’s appeal. The Solicitor General, who works under the auspices of the Justice Department, is sometimes called the 10th Justice, because of the high regard the Supreme Court holds the position.

Christie told Boomer & Carton, “Hopefully, they decide on our side, and if they do, Monmouth Park would be open in a week.”

Sports Betting Lawsuit by NFL, NBA, and MLB

The current lawsuit was brought by the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, NHL, and NCAA against Monmouth Park and the State of New Jersey in October 2014. At the time, Monmouth Park was days away from partnering with William Hill USA to open a sportsbook on the North Jersey racetrack’s grounds.