Well, this was expected.
No one really anticipated Chris Christie—the aggressive, pro-sports betting governor from New Jersey—to legalize sports gambling in his state without some resistance, did they?
Even Christie himself knew he was in for a dogfight.
“We intend to go forward,” Christie declared back in May when he announced his state would ignore a federal ban and begin letting people bet on sporting events beginning this fall. “If someone wants to stop us, then let them try to stop us.
“Am I expecting there may be legal action taken against us to try to prevent it? Yes. But I have every confidence we’re going to be successful.”
Today, that legal action arrived.
NorthJersey.com is reporting that the NCAA and all four major professional sports leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL) sued Christie and two other state officials, citing the 1992 federal law banning such gambling in all but four states.
From NorthJersey.com’s story:
“Gambling on amateur and professional sports threatens the integrity of those sports and is fundamentally at odds with the principle… that the outcome of collegiate and professional athletic contests must be determined, and must be perceived by the public as being determined, solely on the basis of honest athletic competition,” the suit states.
Get your popcorn ready.
Note: Scribd.com has the full complaint filed against Christie, Assistant Attorney General David Rebuck and Executive Director of the New Jersey Racing Commission Frank Zanzuccki.
Update (1:20 p.m. ET): N.J. Sen. Raymond Lesniak: “If NFL was so worried about integrity of game, they wouldn’t play games in England, where gambling is legal.” [via BTB correspondent David Purdum].