Former New Jersey Governor and one-time United States presidential candidate Chris Christie has once again found his way into the limelight. This time, the famed politician has been selected for induction into the Sports Betting Hall of Fame due his contributions in regards to the widespread legalization of sports wagering throughout the United States.
The Sports Betting Community, also known as the SBC, heads the Sports Betting Hall of Fame, which was originally founded back in 2016. As a result of Christie’s upcoming induction, an event will be held during the Betting on Sports America Conference scheduled between April 23th and April 25th in both New York and New Jersey.
“Governor Christie is the first politician we have inducted into the Sports Betting Hall of Fame, but he is there with good reason,” said Rasmus Sojmark, founder and CEO of the Sports Betting Community, via Legal Sports Report. “Without the political will from the governor’s office it is questionable that PASPA would ever have been challenged in the courts.”
Under Christie’s watch, New Jersey infamously legalized sports betting throughout the state, a law that officially came into fruition in June 2018.
“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 said himself.
However, this is certainly not Christie’s first go-round on the main stage as an advocate for legalized sports betting since stepping away from the political world last year. Not only that, but the former New Jersey Governor has continued to make his rounds outside of his home state as well.
The 56-year-old Christie was notably the guest of honor at the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States, also known as NCLGS, winter meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana last month.
“Talk to your members of Congress,” Christie said during the New Orleans-based conference. “Talk to your United States senators and tell them, ‘You’ve got plenty to do down there. You can’t even keep the government open. How about, like, once you open the government again you can think about getting into some new stuff?’
‘You balance the budget, provide for the national defense and get the hell out of sports gambling. You’ve got enough to do.'”
It is worth noting that Christie’s largest contribution was assisting in the take down of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or PASPA.
The law’s main sponsor, former United States Senator Bill Bradley, originally put such a piece of legislation in place during the early 1990s. With Bradley ironically hailing from New Jersey as well, the ultimate goal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was to stop the potential distribution of sports betting throughout the United States. Thanks to Christie, though, the United States Supreme Court eventually halted such a law in May of last year after it originally went into effect on January 1st, 1993.
It hardly comes as a surprise that Christie ultimately became this involved in the sports betting industry due to his well-documented love of sports. Perhaps most notably, Christie can still be seen at Dallas Cowboys games alongside famed NFL owner Jerry Jones while this is certainly not the last time that the sports wagering world as heard his name either.