The state-wide referendum in New Jersey scheduled for November 8 is expected to be the first step in the long process which will eventually decide the fate of sports gambling in New Jersey (this is independent of the federal American gambling laws). Read more in our (New Jersey to Hold Referendum to Legalize Sports Betting in the State) article.
New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, has previously vetoed a proposed bill that could’ve legalized intrastate online poker, creating hundreds of jobs and refilling the empty state tax coffers.
His highly unpopular veto made Christie few friends and lowered his political stock enough to push him out of contention for the republican presidential nomination. Recently Christie told American gambling news that he will respect the decision of people in the referendum, (but still do what his heart tells him).
Christie had the following to say during his recent appearance in Jersey City: “Let’s get that economy up from underground. Let’s have the people who benefit from it be the people of the state of New Jersey, not individuals involved in organized crime. With this referendum we have an opportunity that gives the state more solid footing to challenge the federal ban on sports wagering outside of a few select places.”
He went on to add: “If it fails, obviously I won’t have any interest in pursuing it. The fact is that now gaming is everywhere in many states across the country, so there’s no reason why sports gaming in my view should be restricted.”
The Governor doesn’t agree with limiting legal online sportsbooks in United States to just a few states, and expressed that New Jersey could benefit greatly from legalization. He added that in case of a positive outcome he will join Sen. Ray Lesniak, a known proponent of the measure, in making sports betting safe and regulated.
Recent polls reveal that support for legal sports betting in the state is strong. However, there are fears that the ballot question has not been enjoying enough public exposure, which could limit the number of voters, who are in fact aware of the referendum.
In a poll taken three weeks ago just eleven percent of the voters told that they know “a great deal” about the referendum and its subject, forty percent heard little or nothing at all.