Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie forayed into the gambling world through the landmark case that felled PASPA.
For his role in the lawsuit that brought legal sports betting to the United States, Christie will enter the Sports Betting Hall of Fame. Sports Betting Community (SBC) administers the Hall of Fame, which it created in 2016, and will conduct the induction event during the Betting on Sports America conference April 23-25 in New York and New Jersey.
The award hardly qualifies as major news in and of itself, but what it could portend merits attention. Will Christie make a full-time move into the sports betting space following his political career?
Tracking Chris Christie after New Jersey
Christie maintained a place in the public eye following the end of his New Jersey political career. Following an unsuccessful run for the 2016 Republican nomination for president, Christie endorsed Donald Trump and helped run his transition team.
Thought to be a contender for an administration job such as attorney general, Christie did not receive a nod from Trump.
Frozen out by Trump, Christie later wrote a book about the president’s orbit entitled “Let Me Finish.” The book is billed as an expose into Trump’s 2016 campaign and ensuing move into the White House.
Christie steps onto sports betting stage
Years after he helped push New Jersey to the fore of the PASPA fight, Christie made an interesting move back into sports betting. The ex-governor delivered the keynote address at the winter meeting of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) in New Orleans.
Christie used the stage to recount the story of New Jersey’s fight with the federal government. He also took a strong stance on sports leagues seeking integrity fees for their participation in sports betting:
“The leagues — the arrogance of the leagues — is the other thing we need to talk about. All of you now are going to have these folks coming in to your state capitals and arguing to you that they should somehow now get something for free from you, that they were unwilling to settle on when they were in the midst of litigation.”
That certainly jives with the perspective of many in the gaming world and could foreshadow a next step for Christie.
On the Hall of Fame
Rasmus Sojmark, Founder and CEO of SBC:
“Governor Christie is the first politician we have inducted into the Sports Betting Hall of Fame, but he is there with good reason. Without the political will from the governor’s office it is questionable that PASPA would ever have been challenged in the courts.”
“Sports betting was held back for too long by the unfair federal laws, so I was more than happy to be the first to make a stand against them. I’m very proud and gratified to be recognized by the sports betting industry in this year now that PASPA is a distant memory.”