N.J. Gov. says sports betting needed for casinos' future

Jul 6, 2009 8:46 PM
by Ray Poirier |

It took New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine more than eight years to finally realize that sports betting could play an important role in the success of a casino. So now he has filed a lawsuit looking to overturn a federal ban on sports betting in New Jersey and 45 other states.

"So what took him so long?" asked a casino customer who says he was forced to make his sports bets with illegal bookmakers because then Sen. Bill Bradley, a former NBA star, led the fight to prohibit sports betting in New Jersey.

"New Jersey voters elected Corzine to the U.S. Senate in 2001 and he never said a word about sports betting.

"They elected him governor in 2006 and again he never brought up sports betting at the Atlantic City casinos. So why now…could it be because he faces a tough re-election battle next year?"

In filing the lawsuit, Corzine said he felt "legalized sports betting is essential to ensure that the casino and horse racing industries in New Jersey remain competitive."

When Congress passed the prohibition on sports betting in all states except Nevada and four other states, New Jersey was given ample time to exclude itself from the ban but through Bradley’s political influence, it failed to act.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Ray Poirier