A ballot referendum to change New Jersey’s constitution to allow wagering on certain NFL and collegiate sports at the state’s casinos and racetracks passed 2:1 in November. The state Legislature moved swiftly to pass a measure to legalize the activity and Christie signed it into law in January, but the governor had taken little to no action since.
This prompted criticism from some leading Democrats, including state Sen. Ray Lesniak and people involved in the gaming industry to speculate that presidential politics might be involved.
Christie said he would try to put the new rules into effect by fall in defiance of the federal ban on sports betting, which limits the activity to four states: Nevada, Oregon, Montana and Delaware.
The federal law, known as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, must be overturned before New Jersey can get sports betting. Gaming legal experts say changing the federal law could take some time.