Christie Nixes Fed Sports Betting Involvement

Chris Christie, the former Governor of New Jersey, said that legislators should do what they can to keep the federal government out of sports betting regulation. Speaking at the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States Conference, Christie said that a new bi-partisan federal bill introduced in December, threatened the states’ autonomy to regulate and oversee their own sports betting industries.

Late last year, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced their Sports Wagering Marketing Integrity Act of 2018 which has the potential to grant the federal government the right to oversee and regulate the federal sports betting market.

One of the key features of the bill is that it will create a National Sports Wagering Clearinghouse which will be used to compile information to track suspicious wagering and fish out money laundering and other crimes.

Chris Christie, however, feels that there is no need for federal oversight because, up until now, states have proven that they have done a very good job of overseeing their own gambling markets.

According to the former Governor: “We do not need a federal solution to this problem. States have been regulating gambling for decades without incident.”

Christie also came out against the sports leagues’ demand for integrity fees to be paid to them in exchange for the use of official league data for betting purposes.

“We’re going to reward the people who fought us for seven years with fees that are going to diminish your margins?” he blasted at the conference. “They don’t need it, and given their conduct over the last seven years, they don’t deserve it!”

Christie is not the only one who believes that the federal government is interfering in a field where its presence is not necessary or welcome.  The American Gaming Association slammed the federal bill proposal when it was first published in December, calling it “the epitome of a solution in search of a problem,” and saying that it represented “an unprecedented and inappropriate expansion of federal involvement in the gaming industry.”

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