Tag Archive: sports betting

News Roundup & Open Thread for Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Exxon Mobil and the administration vs. NJ’s environment

  • Progressives had hoped for a crackdown against the polluter Exxon, instead they received a sellout against New Jerseyans and their environment. The judge yesterday ruled the consent agreement of only $225 million “was fair and reasonable.” Of the $225 million, $50 million will go to legal costs, $50 million to environmental cleanup and $125 million to the state’s General Fund.

  • Sen. Raymond Lesniak said he believes Superior Court Judge Michael Hogan’s concerns could give him an opportunity to appeal the judgment.

  • Margaret Brown, a lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council, called it  a “slap on the wrist for Exxon that will do little to undo the damage.” For comments from other environmentalists go here.

    NJ sports betting gets another thumbs down. A federal appellate panel once again upheld a federal ban on New Jersey’s bid to allow sports betting at the state’s racetracks and Atlantic City’s casino.


  • Christie and Rabbi/politician Shmuley Boteach urge opposition to the Iran deal. Christie joined Jewish groups at Rutgers University to criticize the proposal and pressure U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and the NJ congressional delegation to oppose the deal. Christie said, “It’s not about politics.” The Star-Ledger reports, “Both Boteach and Sen. Menendez have received financial support from casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson who opposes the Iran deal.”

  • No War in Iran Action. Join move-on.org protestors today at Noon in front of Rep. Scott Garrett’s office at 266 Harristown Road, Glen Rock, NJ 07452.


  • Christie in South Carolina: Monmouth University poll reports that the governor as a first choice is 12th and as a second choice is 11th. His favorabily rating is negative 42% to 34%.

  • Moran: Christie on Bridgegate: “Telling it like it isn’t, again.” “Christie claimed that his administration was not under investigation at the time he deleted a series of text messages regarding the scandal.”

  • Gun proposals reflect Christie’s rightward shift on guns.

    Newark’s St. Michael’s Medical Center saga continues. The bankrupt St. Michael’s and the community want it to stay open, Barnabas Health (the largest NJ hospital chain) wants to purchase and then close it to reduce competition, Prime (out-of-state and for-profit) wants to buy it, invest capital and keep it open, and a state-funded consultant recommended it be converted into same-day treatment centers. The bankruptcy judge has ordered bids be submitted by November 3. Ultimately, as health lawyer John Jacobi points out, Saint Michael’s future rests in the state’s hands with the Health’s Commissioner’s “mandate” to decide “what is best for the people of Newark.”

    After union’s encouragement for Guv campaign, Sweeney says, issues like New Jersey’s flagging Transportation Trust Fund, higher education development and economic initiatives would be essential to his potential gubernatorial run.”

  • Sports Betting: Welcome Back Tony Soprano

    People like to bet on sports and should not be punished for doing so. They may make some money, lose their shirt or even become addicted. However, whether through off-shore internet sites, a local bookie, or an office pool, it’s impossible to stop. Now barring any negative court decisions, sports betting will be legal in AC casinos and racetracks. This is the State’s gift to the gaming industry, but don’t count on it being a big help to Atlantic City’s unemployed.  

    In 2013 a U. S. District Court ruled that NJ can’t offer sports betting under the Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. However, a circuit Court of Appeals last fall suggested that sports betting could be allowed if the state did not attempt to regulate it. A new bill (S2240) passed this week in the legislature and the Governor signed it. It incorporates a legal maneuver which “would allow betting without specific, state-sanctioned regulations.” Sports betting with no specific regs: what could go wrong with that?  hmmm…

    Enter Tony Soprano. Legalizing this betting in New Jersey will take money away from the mob, but failing to regulate it sufficiently will open the door to the Tony Sopranos in our state. We know that a large portion of this fictional character’s income was derived from illegal sports betting, or as he explained it to his daughter, “Some of my money comes from illegal gambling and whatnot.”

    The State will retain the power to license and regulate the overall casino and racetrack operations, but not to create regulations that are sports-betting specific. Las Vegas casinos generate about $2.6 billion a year in sports betting, and there are reports of criminality here and here. If New Jersey were to rake in just a third of that, Tony Soprano’s succcessors would surely find a way to get their share. Bada Bing!

    The “No News”AC Summit

    There has been little in the news about yesterday’s AC Summit because it was held in private, attended by bigwigs (who know how to keep their mouths shut) and little has been revealed. Christie is moving cautiously on the issue of casinos in northern New Jersey as it is controversial, will further reduce AC casino attendance, and has a low likelihood of sustainability in an over-saturated market.

    It also seems apparent that although casino revenue has been dropping since 2006 and unemployment in Atlantic County is reaching the stratosphere, the State has yet to formulate a plan to strengthen the local economy. To mask this deficiency Christie announced that the Acting Attorney General had approved sports betting in New Jersey which itself is mired in federal litigation and could bring further lawsuits from the major sports professional leagues.

    After the summit Christie issued a four-page press release about transforming “AC Into A More Diverse Tourism Destination”, repeating past initiatives but not mentioning new ones. He rehashed some dubious hype – inaccurate and misleading data already debunked here. The city and county are taking steps but need state help. Yesterday Gov. Christie claimed, “There is reason for real hope.” With AC’s economy cratering, it is time for him and the Legislature to prove his point.  

    What Happened The Week of 10/21/2013

    October 21 12:01am: Proud moment for equality in New Jersey!

    Despite obstacles, Tom Kean Jr. says GOP will claim the senate on November 5. Dream on Senator Kean.

    10 days until General Election: If you haven’t already, it’s time to help the GOTV effort.

    WATCH: Pallone blasts Obamacare hearing as a ‘Monkey Court”: So true Rep. Pallone.

    Poll: Should N.J. keep fighting to bring sports betting to Atlantic City, horse racing tracks? Poll says Yes. Is it really that important?  

    Poll: Should N.J. voters approve the ballot question to raise the minimum wage? Poll says Yes. Right on!

    Environmental groups’ report card on Sandy recovery: gives Christie and his Office of Recovery and Rebuilding a D, the state Legislature a C-, the state departments of Community Affairs and Environmental Protection an F, and President Obama and three of his federal agencies most heavily involved in Sandy recovery a C+. Seems about right.

    Frank Argote-Freyre, president of Latino Action Network: “Chris Christie during the final gubernatorial debate seemed to come out in favor of tuition equality for all students, including those who were brought over as undocumented immigrants at a young age … Its time for our plain-speaking governor to provide greater clarity on the subject. A few passing phrases simply won’t do.” Get on with it Governor.

    ACA website vs. ACA: Former stinks but latter does not. Give it time.

    Executive Director of the League of American Families John Tomicki: “Allowance of same-sex marriage will cause polygamy in NJ.” A sore loser.

    Sheila Oliver appears to be out and Vince Prieto in as Assembly Speaker in next session starting in January. Que sera sera. The bosses and leaders have spoken.

    Jon Stewart Leads with Christie Hypocrisy

    Chris Christie loves the spotlight, and got plenty of it on last night’s episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Stewart highlighted Christie’s promised veto of A-1465, which would decriminalize up to 15 grams of marijuana. Christie’s guiding principle here? The federal government still considers marijuana illegal, and it’s not NJ’s place to question the wisdom of the federal government.

    “I don’t think the state should be in the business of undercutting the federal government on that policy.”

    Of course, the inverse logic applies to Christie’s take on currently illegal sports betting, which our governor figures everyone is doing anyway. So he says he’ll fight the federal government on that.

    “If someone wants to stop us, then they’ll have to take action to try to stop us.”

    Oh, and he doesn’t like Obamacare, either. So of course, his statement on today’s healthcare ruling is predictably convenient, if not hypocritical given his stance on pot:

    “…each governor should have the ability to make decisions about what works best for their state.”

    Watch and giggle:

    Of Vice and Men – New York Weed Bill Dies & Chris Christie’s Veto Threat

    Sports Betting Amendment for the Constitution?

    New Jersey legislators seem determined to push sports betting even though it’s illegal under federal law. The new strategy seems to be to amend the state constitution and hope some judge lets New Jersey trump the feds. (Hey, it worked for the Tea Party.)  Senator Lesniak made a pretty impressive statement:

    When Manchester United plays Chelsea at Wembley Stadium, London, in the Premier League, the second most successful sports league in the world, fans can place a bet on either team right at the stadium. When the San Francisco 49ers take on the Denver Broncos at Wembley Stadium on Sunday October 31st of this year, the fans will not be able to place a bet at the stadium, because the National Football League, to protect the integrity of its sport, will not allow the betting windows to open. The fans will have to walk across the street to place their bets. The Broncos will no doubt be favored by a touchdown.

    “Insane? You bet it is. Just as insane as the federal ban on sports betting which forces the public to bet illegally with bookies or at off shore internet sites, out of the reach of our law enforcement agencies, or legally at the safe haven created by Congress in Nevada and Delaware…

    In another statement promoting Atlantic City, Van Drew said an amendment would “send a strong, unified message.” Personally I am finding it hard to care, and when I see “send a message,” I translate it as “making no real difference” and “doomed to fail,” but this sports betting push bears watching. Any ideas?

    Sports Betting (Etc.)

    Although New Jersey suffers a chronic news deficit, we are blessed to have Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind, Monmouth University Polling Institute, and Rutgers Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling all frequently polling to assess public opinion. The latest release from FDU (PDF) asks about legalizing sports betting in New Jersey:

    54% of Americans nationwide say that legal sports betting is a bad idea because it may corrupt sports, and 39% say people do it anyway, so government should allow it and tax it. But New Jerseyans split evenly, 46% for allowing sports betting and taxing it, and 47% saying no, it’s a bad idea.

    When the question is narrowed to allowing sports betting in Atlantic City casinos, New Jerseyans favor it strongly, 60% to 33%. That margin is similar to results a year ago.

    New Jerseyans favor making sports betting legal at the state’s ailing race tracks by 56%-36%, but that is down from 63%-30% a year ago.

    Telephone, Internet and off-track betting parlors are all opposed by New Jerseyans.

    I’m intrigued by the 10%+ of New Jerseyans who think think sports betting would be bad for the country but would like to give it a try here. It shows the importance of bringing out the — how should I phrase this? — self-interested side of the public when asking questions. Now if you get that shift just with a phone interview, imagine the pressure on politicians to do something they think is wrong in the abstract. It explains a lot, from legalized gambling to deregulation of Wall Street.