New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has issued a directive allowing casinos and racetracks to immediately offer sports betting without fear of criminal or civil liability.
State Sen. Ray Lesniak, a longtime proponent of legalizing the wagers, said it will help shore up Atlantic City’s weakened economy.
“This is New Jersey attracting revenues that right now are going to organized crime betting rings and offshore Internet betting sites,” said Lesniak, D-Union.
A court challenge by professional and collegiate sports leagues is possible — but Christie is relying on the state attorney general’s finding that the move is legal.
The governor was in Atlantic City Monday for closed-door talks over the future of the resort town after three casinos have closed so far this year.
Atlantic City stakeholders are expected to meet again in October.