Part of my morning routine is to check out Google News to see what sports betting related articles have been written overnight.
Usually, these searches don’t produce anything of substance. Sports betting, at least in the United States, is still considered taboo and many writers and columnists refuse to discuss any topic related to it—not odds, not point spreads, and certainly not potential legalization.
But all of that changed on Thursday when New Jersey governor Chris Christie gave media folks no other choice. Christie’s comments at a press conference were so loud, so obnoxious, so over-the-top ridiculous that every outlet was forced to provide coverage and chime in.
The question was asked repeatedly, from Newark to Nevada and even in California: ”Will New Jersey really defy a federal ban and begin offering sports betting this fall?”
The answer: “No. Probably not.”
“But please,” Christie is surely saying, “keep having the discussion anyway.”
He knows you can’t start a fire without a spark.
* * *
Here’s a collection of articles that have been written over the last few days:
- N.J. Governor Christie: ‘Let Them Try To Stop Us’ from sports betting. [CBS News]
- New Jersey wagers that NFL, feds won’t block move to sports betting. [Las Vegas R-J]
- Time to Do Away With Sports Betting Stigma. [Tim Dahlberg]
- Christie pushes sports betting plan in face of ban. [Business Week]
- Legalizing sports betting is smartest bet yet. [Dan Wetzel]
- You Can Bet On It: Legalized sports gambling on the way. [San Diego U-T]