Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will be recognized for the extraordinary role that he played in the pioneering of legal sports betting across the United States.
During his eight-year tenure as the State Governor of New Jersey, Christie played a critical role in both deciding to, and leading the charge in the challenge of the Federal ban on sports betting via the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act 1992 (PASPA), which eventually was ruled by the U.S. Supreme Court as unconstitutional in May of last year.
When a bi-partisan bill was introduced to the U.S. Senate that would potentially give Federal Government oversight to the sports betting market, Christie in no uncertain terms voiced his displeasure of the Federal dabbling in state issues. His states’ rights argument was the critical point that eventually had PASPA overturned after the Supreme Court ruled the 1992 Act violated the 10th amendment.
Whilst he left office in January 2018 just a few short months before the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling, Christie’s energy and passion in leading the fight was legendary, as he made legal sports betting one of the major priorities of his time in office.
Most importantly, Christie’s seven years fighting for legalized sports betting in his own state eventually opened the door for many states across the nation to examine potentially regulating sports betting.
Christie the first American to be inducted
Chris Christie always pursued a proactive role in pushing his sports betting agenda and supporting New Jersey’s sporting teams. Pictured above, the then New Jersey Governor watches Rutgers and Michigan do battle in a college football game back in 2017.
Former Governor Christie will be the first American, and the first politician of any nationality to be inducted into the Sports Betting Community (SBC) Hall of Fame. SBC expects to announce two more inductees over the coming weeks.
The Sports Betting Community Hall of Fame launched in 2016 with the purpose of recognizing individuals who have had a major positive impact on the sports betting industry and have in turn, created lasting legacies in the global sports betting sector.
Sports Betting Hall of Fame criteria include that ideal candidates have gathered outstanding experiences and positive outcomes in one or more of the following categories:
- Extensive experience in the sports betting sector.
- Introduction of innovative products and/or marketing programs.
- Instituting changes that improve the sports betting industry overall.
- Undertaking a leading role in raising the awareness of the importance of sports betting socially and economically.
- The promotion of sports betting awareness as a responsible member of the business community.
SBC and Former Governor Christie proud & excited by the announcement
Founder and CEO of SBC, Rasmus Sojmark was keen to sing the former Governor’s praises;
“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. For that bravery, the industry is indebted to Governor Christie and his inclusion in the Hall of Fame is just a small thank you for his support.” Mr. Sojmark explained.
Former Governor Christie explained his pride;
“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.”
Christie will receive the honor at a glitzy function in Manhattan on April 25.