NJ Could Have Sports Betting By Next NFL Season, Christie Says
TRENTON -- Gov. Chris Christie predicted that if the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of his quest to repeal laws banning sports betting in New Jersey, Monmouth Park Racetrack "would be open inside a week" for bettors.
Christie also blasted the federal government's double standard on marijuana while appearing as a guest host on WFAN's "Boomer and Carton" and said the federal government has been inconsistent in its application of legal standards.
"They pick and choose," the New Jersey governor said. "For instance, the Obama administration said it was OK to legalize recreational marijuana even though marijuana is still illegal on federal level, but the Obama administration said 'No' on gambling."
Sports betting has been illegal since a 1992 federal law banned it all but four states, Delaware, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon.
The U.S. Supreme Court is currently weighing whether to grant New Jersey's attorney general the chance to make oral arguments in favor of legalizing sports betting here.
Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug, reserved for those with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. However, eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use.
"They're two vices," Christie said. "And you're either for or you're against."
The U.S. Supreme Court was set to rule on New Jersey's efforts to relax bans, but in January the court decided it wanted to hear what the Trump administration wanted to do.
In May, the Trump administration's acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall argued against New Jersey's move to repeal its state sports betting laws, saying it was "no different than a positive enactment authorizing such gambling."
Trump, a former Atlantic City casino owner, had previously indicated his support for legal sports betting.
A close friend and adviser to the president, Christie was asked by co-host Craig Carton for his understanding of the Trump administration's current position on legalizing marijuana.
"I think they're against both. ...That's why you go to the Supreme Court -- to try to get them to trump the executive branch," Christie said. "No pun intended, of course."
The governor said that the Supreme Court need not formally legalize sports betting in New Jersey, but only needs say that the state could relax rules blocking it.
"If they say that states should make the decisions, New Jersey voters have already decided by a two-thirds vote that they want sports gambling, and so that's what we'd do in our state," said Christie.
The U.S. Supreme Court "may issue an oral argument before the end of June," said the governor, leaving open the chance that New Jerseyans could bet on the forthcoming NFL season this fall.
"Certainly in time for the Super Bowl," Christie said.