There’s been a setback for New Jersey’s attempt to become the third state in the nation to legalize online gambling.
On Tuesday, New Jersey joined the ranks of Nevada and Delaware in an ambitious effort to cultivate the opportunity-rich industry of Internet gambling.
“This was a critical decision, and one that I did not make lightly,” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said at the time.
But another decision was made Friday that could deliver a blow to the Garden State’s recent gamble on Internet gambling.
The AP is reporting that a federal judge is upholding a 21-year-old law “prohibiting sports betting in all but four states.”
The decision is “dealing a setback to New Jersey’s attempts to revive its struggling casino industry by grabbing a piece of what has become a multibillion-dollar industry, both legal and illegal.”
New Jersey voters passed a sports betting referendum in 2011, and last year the Legislature enacted a sports betting law that limited bets to the Atlantic City casinos and the state’s horse racing tracks.
“We believe firmly in the principles of our position on sports betting and that the federal ban is inequitable, violates New Jersey’s rights as a state and is unconstitutional,” Christie said through a spokesman Friday. “Even the trial judge has noted that he was not likely the final arbiter in the matter. We are confident that the federal court of appeals will conclude that New Jersey should be treated equally with other states.”