Governor spokesperson claims hypocrisy
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/23/2012 -- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and state lawmakers lambasted the NCAA’s decision to relocate five championship competitions out of the state. The move comes after the state pushed to allow sports betting. The NCAA forbids betting to occur in states where championships are held. It argued that wagering, legal and illegal, is harmful to college athletes.
Michael Drewniak, Christie’s spokesperson, called the move “ludicrous and hypocritical.”
"The NCAA wants to penalize New Jersey for responsibly legalizing what occurs illegally every day in every state and often with the participation of organized crime," he said.
The New Jersey ruling would not allow betting on any college team based within New Jersey, or any college game that is played within the state.
State Senator Raymond Lesniak said New Jersey, not the NCAA, acted responsibly in regards to sports betting.
"The NCAA continually ignores the billions of dollars wagered illegally every year," he said in a statement issued Tuesday. "In New Jersey we're moving that betting from the back rooms, where organized crime controls the books, to out in the open, where it can be carefully regulated and monitored.
"The NCAA and the professional leagues can yell all they want about 'the integrity of sports,' but until they embrace policies to wipe out the illegal books, those are just words."
In the United States, only four states allow citizens to bet, but New Jersey voters and lawmakers were adamant in their push to allow such activity as early as January.
The 2001 measure passed with a 2-1 margin in agreement to allowing sports betting in Atlantic City casinos and the stat’s four horseracing tracks. Lawmakers were overwhelmingly in support of the legislation, and Gov. Christie took little time to sign the law into existence.
A 50-to-31% margin was in favor making sports betting legal, according to an Inquirer New Jersey poll. Another 48% supported sports wagering in general, with 31% opposing it.
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