Governor Chris Christie wants to legalize sports betting in New Jersey. Not only that, but the governor and his administration decided to suspend the enforcement of state laws that ban it.
However, his administration did note that casinos and racetracks will not want to run afoul of existing federal anti-gambling laws.
Nelson Rose, a gaming and gambling law professor at Whittier Law School in California revealed, “I find it, frankly, astounding … I can’t imagine any lawyer telling a client, ‘Go ahead and violate federal anti-organized crime statues—which are felonies.’ He’s a former US Attorney; he knows about the [Interstate] Wire Act, which is designed to fight organized crime, and the Illegal Gambling Business Act.”
Professor Rose also stated, “Certainly, any New Jersey casino that did this would lose its license everywhere, including its assets [gained from sports betting.] So, I don’t understand what the thinking is …What Christie is telling the casinos to do is to violate federal law, and it’s a criminal law and the normal remedies for criminal law is to be arrested.”
Notwithstanding, other casino attorneys optimistically believe that this will prompt a federal court to rule in New Jersey’s favor while paving the way for sports betting in casinos and race tracks to be legalized nationally.
It is worth noting that by leaving the state’s anti-sports gambling law on the books, any casinos that decide to engage in sports betting could face prosecution under the federal Illegal Gambling Businesses Act.
It appears that Governor Christie is playing with fire. If casinos listen to him, they could end up on the wrong end of a federal charge. However, if the risk is worth it to the casino, the lack of enforcement in NJ could lead to sports betting popping up state-wide.
If you recently were charged with a crime in NJ, contact The Rosenblum Law Firm today at 888-815-3649.