Christie backs sports betting in New Jersey

New Jersey voters will decide next week whether to approve a state constitutional amendment that would permit sports wagering at the state’s casinos and racetracks.

Gov. Chris Christie says he’s on board.

The governor said Wednesday it’s not fair that legalized sports betting should be limited to just a few states and believes it’s important for New Jersey to have it.

“The fact is now gaming is everywhere in many states across the country, so there’s no reason why sports gaming in my view should be restricted,” he said.

Christie said bettors gamble on NFL games every week in New Jersey. Legalizing it, he said, would have the state benefit from the wagers instead of criminal organizations.

If voters approve the referendum, Christie said he’ll work with Democratic Sen. Ray Lesniak to try to implement it. Lesniak filed an unsuccessful lawsuit to overturn the federal restrictions. The governor says the constitutional amendment would give the state an opportunity to challenge that ban again.

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