When the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA) on Monday, the decision paved the way for the rest of the nation to begin legalizing sports betting within their state. Justice Alito said it was the court's job to interpret "the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution. PASPA is not."
It all began back in 2012 when then New Jersey Governor signed legislation that allowed sports betting in the state. But, the NCAA and four other professional sports leagues didn't like that and sued the state, saying the newly passed law was in direct violation of PAPASA, which barred most forms of sports betting across the country (with the notable exception of Nevada).
"It was the same argument all along. But we finally got the highest court in the land and people who really understood the constitution and listen," Christie told KFI. "And it was not a minor victory, the vote on the overall decision was 7-2. It's very rare that you get a Supreme Court that united on something."
Sports leagues have long maintained that widespread sports betting poses a threat to the integrity of their games, but Christie disagrees.
When the governor was asked how he felt about the decision, he said he felt a great sense of vindication.
"Because I took a lot of abuse for spending $8 million on lawyers and after losing seven different times, continuing to persist. It just made no sense to me that we couldn't do this given that we were already doing casino gambling in our state," said Christie. "So it was a great sense of vindication and feeling like we thought we were right all along, and now the highest court in the land, the greatest authority on the Constitution in our system has given us a victory."
Christie says now that the Supreme Court has given the go-ahead, states will have to decide how they plan on regulating it within their borders. Christie points to his own state of New Jersey who has a plan in place and could begin taking bets as soon as two weeks from now.
"They already have a bill that I signed, that is in effect in New Jersey right now that will allow the gambling to begin as soon as the companies are ready to take the bets," said Christie. "And the folks at Monmouth Park, who are in partnership with William-Hill, the British sports-gambling company, say they're gonna be ready in two weeks, which would put it at Memorial Day weekend."
States will also get to dip their fingers in the tax revenue pie, with each state deciding how the money will be taxed.
"My guess is there will be a tax placed on the folks who are participating in the sports betting, both the betters, and the casinos, racetracks that will be providing the service," Christie said.
You can listen to the full interview with former Gov. Chris Christie on KFI's Wake Up Call below:
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