Former Governor Supports Online SportsBetting in New Jersey

Published Friday, November 06, 2009 -

Gov. Jon S. Corzine has decided he won't give up the fight to bring legalized sportbetting to New Jersey despite his recent loss to Republican rival Chris Christie. A federal judge allowed Corzine until Nov. 12 to file a complaint against a 17-year ban on sports betting, overruling resistance from the Department of Justice. “We’ll continue to move forward and file the necessary court papers by the due date,” said Robert Corrales, a spokesman in the governor’s office. adding, “It will be up to the incoming governor to decide if he would want to proceed.”

The now former governor Corzine filed a motion last April in support of a lawsuit arguing that a federal ban on sports betting in New Jersey and 45 other states is unconstitutional.

State Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak, the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association, and three horse racing groups filed the original motion in March. Corzine stated then “We must do everything in our power to ensure both the casino and horse racing industries in New Jersey remain competitive, especially during the national economic recession,” The motion suggests that the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act puts New Jersey at an economic disadvantage. Allowing sports wagering would garner more than $100 million a year in revenue for the state, besides jobs and a boost for tourism at its casinos and racetracks.

Sports betting is permitted in Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon the chairman of the Washington, D.C.-based Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association Inc. Joe Brennan Jr., said, adding, “New Jersey could potentially become a hub for online gambling in the U.S.,” and that sufficient demand for such recreational activity has so far been “off-shored.”

Brennan pointed to the example of San Jose, Costa Rica stating it has become the “the Silicon Valley of Central America” Hundreds of online gaming companies and related activities like processing and network technology have created tens of thousands of jobs.

“They certainly can do that in New Jersey,” Brennan said, adding that the state could tap into its “well-educated and technically trained work force, and access to the financial center of New York City.”



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