- Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is entering the US sports betting hall of fame
- Christie led the way for the overturning of the federal ban on sports betting
- He previously ran for the Republican Party nomination for the 2016 election
Pioneer against PASPA
Governor Chris Christie is to be inducted into the United States sports betting hall of fame. He is seen as a pioneer in the sports betting sector, having led the charge to bring the federal ban on sports betting to an end.
As state governor in New Jersey, Christie brought extensive political support to bear against Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA, aka the Bradley Act). After fighting for more than seven years, he saw PASPA deemed to be unconstitutional.
The US Supreme Court subsequently ended the federal ban in May 2018 following a vote on the issue. All of the major sports leagues had opposed such a move through the legal system for many years. To date, eight states now have open sportsbooks, with many more set to legalize sports betting in 2019.
The induction ceremony
The ceremony for Christie’s induction into the sports betting hall of fame will be on April 25, in the Sky Room, Manhattan. It will take place during the largest conference for sports betting in the country, known as Betting on Sports America. The conference is taking place at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in nearby New Jersey.
Christie is the first politician to receive an induction into the sports betting hall of fame in the US. In response to the announcement, Christie said: “Sports betting was held back for too long by the unfair federal laws, so I was more than happy to be the first to make a stand against them. I’m very proud and gratified to be recognized by the sports betting industry in this year now that PASPA is a distant memory.”
The hall of fame launched in 2016 and recognizes those individuals who have made significant contributions to the sector during their careers.
The ultimate legacy
Christie successfully brought sports betting back to the table in the US. This will now generate hundreds of millions of dollars for good causes in the coming years. There will be thousands of new jobs created and local economies will receive badly needed stimulation.
He was one of the main drivers for overturning the federal ban and his state of New Jersey is already reaping the rewards. In January 2019, New Jersey had another record month in sports betting intake, nearing the $400m mark. The state opened sportsbooks in mid June 2018 and the scene is thriving, especially mobile sports betting.
What is next for Christie? He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican Party nomination for the 2016 US presidential election. He subsequently gave his endorsement to the eventual victor Donald Trump and was part of his transition team.
However, he was later frozen out by the president. He subsequently published a book that examines the Trump campaign and administration from the inside. Many are of the belief that Christie will enter the gambling sector in some shape or form.
Entering the gambling sector?
He was recently a keynote speaker at the winter meeting of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States, which took place in New Orleans.
In his keynote, he looked back at the fight to end the federal sports betting ban. He also highlighted what he calls the “arrogance” of the major sports leagues that are looking for integrity fees. He is against what he says is the leagues getting something for free.
During the legal action between the leagues and Christie, New Jersey lost seven times in court. Throughout the process, Christie says he was willing to negotiate with the leagues for some sort of concession, but that the leagues had no desire to play ball.
He is also vehemently opposed to any federal government involvement in sports betting. He said: “We need to stand up and fight strongly against federal regulation on this. We fought for seven years to get the right to do this ourselves. Let’s not give it away.”
He points towards the example of Nevada when someone refers to any argument for the introduction of a federal framework.