Should Sports Gambling Be Legal In States Like New Jersey?
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is committed to a cause that, in his eyes, is very important right now. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with Hurricane Sandy relief, although that is one of the things near the top of his list. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with trying to reduce crime in cities like Newark and Camden, which are widely considered to be two of the most dangerous cities in the country (though, for the record, Newark is making steady improvements thanks to Mayor Cory Booker). And, no, it doesn’t have anything to do with the Garden State’s educational system. Instead, he’s committed to a new initiative that would legalize…sports gambling. Yup, right now, sports gambling is at the top of Governor Christie’s list.
But, before you get too bent out of shape, consider the impact that legalized sports betting would have on a state like New Jersey. Before, during, and after just about every major sporting event in the U.S., we all hear about the money that was wagered—illegally, mind you—on that particular event. Usually, that figure includes hundreds of millions, and sometimes even billions, of dollars. So, Governor Christie’s plan is to legalize sports gambling in New Jersey, like it is in Nevada, Oregon, Montana, and Delaware, so that New Jersey can get a cut of the action. And, although the NCAA and the four major pro sports leagues have threatened to ban New Jersey from hosting their events if sports gambling is legalized, Governor Christie doesn’t seem to care. He’s continuing to fight for it, even though the idea got shot down in a federal court recently.
“I’m appealing it,” he said this week. “So, if they [the NCAA] think I’ve changed my mind, they’re wrong. I’ll appeal it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if I can, and will.”
Is that the right move to make, though? Of all the issues to attack, is sports gambling one that deserves so much of the Governor’s time? The truth is that sports gambling will help the state profit off something that so many people are doing anyway. And, it could have a really great effect on the economy in New Jersey. If New Jersey is successful, other states might follow its lead, too. So, in addition to everything else that he’s pursuing, Governor Christie should continue to fight for sports gambling. If nothing else, it’ll prove that he’s committed to trying everything to help the state make money. And, even if sports gambling is never legalized, people won’t be able to take that effort away from him.