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New Jersey to allow sports betting despite federal ban

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced plans to implement sports betting in his state. (Michael Todaro/Getty Images)

Chris Christie, New Jersey governor

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced Thursday that his state intends to allow betting on sporting events, in defiance of a federal law against sports gambling, according to multiple reports.

Christie, a Republican, said New Jersey will not challenge the relevant law in court. The state will simply move ahead.

“We intend to go forward,” Christie said. “If someone wants to stop us, then let them try to stop us. We want to work with the casinos and horse racing industry to get it implemented.

“Am I expecting there may be legal action taken against us to try to prevent it? Yes. But I have every confidence we’re going to be successful.”

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act only allows sports betting in the four states that had implemented it by a 1991 deadline: Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana. As a result, New Jersey could face legal action from the federal government or one of the professional sports leagues. In 2009, the four major professional sports leagues and the NCAA banded together to sue Delaware over its plan to introduce single-game betting for the first time.