Trump Administration Supports Pro Sports Leagues In New Jersey Sports Betting Case
The Trump administration is "siding with professional sports leagues in their opposition to allowing New Jersey to offer sports betting," while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is "calling the league 'hypocrites' for opposing betting" while having teams in Las Vegas, according to the AP. The solicitor general's office "filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court this week supporting the leagues" ahead of arguments scheduled for Dec. 4. Christie's administration is challenging a '92 federal law that "bans gambling in all but four states." New Jersey officials said that the high court should "strike down" the ban outside the four states of Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana because it "wrongly forces states to enforce a regulation." The solicitor general "argues that while Congress can't require states to enact specific laws, it can pre-empt state laws that 'conflict with federal policy'" (AP, 10/25).
ARE LEAGUES BEING HYPOCRITICAL? Christie said by moving to Las Vegas, pro sports leagues have "undermined their own argument" in the suit against Christie and the state of New Jersey to prevent legalized gambling there. Appearing on HBO's "Real Sports," Christie said, "The hypocrisy is just so overwhelming. They say because we have the Giants and the Jets and the Devils that somehow we shouldn't be allowed to have gambling here because somehow it will threaten the integrity of the game. Are you kidding? How isn't it that threatening the integrity of the game in Las Vegas for the NHL and the NFL?" Christie: "They cannot make the integrity of the game argument anymore because they have now gone to the sports gambling capital of America and put two of the four major sports in that city. It's over." Christie said in regards to the suit, the leagues "have a hidden motive: To make sure that legalization only happens if they get to share in the profits." Christie: "Not only do they want a piece but they want to determine the size of their piece and they think they have a much better chance to do that by negotiating just with Congress than they do with 49 other states." With the Supreme Court set to hear the case involving Christie and the state of New Jersey next month, former broadcaster Brent Musburger said Christie will win and legalized sports gambling "will then explode across the country" ("Real Sports," HBO, 10/24).