Christie, Sandoval Talk Combining Online Poker Players: No Sports Bets at Caesars

Written by:
Ace King
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Christie, Sandoval Talk Combining Online Poker Player Pools: No Sports Bets at C

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval discussed possibly combining both states online poker player pools during a gaming conference in the Garden State on Monday.

While he wouldn’t share specifics, New Jersey’s Internet gambling sector has so far produced $31.6 million in gaming revenue, far below earlier projections.  Nevada’s Web gaming sector has seen disappointing results to date due primarily to a limited player pool.  Nevada, unlike New Jersey, only permits online poker. 

Christie’s comments were overshadowed by news that the Governor had issued a directive Monday permitting sports betting in the state, news that seemed to catch much of the gambling sector off guard.

William Hill CEO Joe Asher issued a statement saying his company would review the directive.

“Obviously, this is a significant development,” Asher said. “Like others, we recognize that legalized sports betting is inevitable, and will be a good outcome for customers, states and the sports leagues. In light of our significant investment at Monmouth Park, we are happy that it appears racetracks and casinos in New Jersey will be taking sports bets sooner rather than later.”

Caesars Entertainment Corp. Chairman Gary Loveman said his three Atlantic City casinos would not be offering sports betting any time soon.

"We still have concerns about the federal legal structure that would exist,” Loveman said, “Irrespective of what New Jersey does, I am an advocate of legalized sports betting everywhere.”

Already at least one establishment in New Jersey has vowed to begin offering sports betting. 

Monmouth Racetrack said it may start taking bets as early as this Sunday.

Racetrack legal adviser Dennis Drazin said he was already fielding calls to offer sports wagering early Monday afternoon, as soon as news of Christie’s directive first broke on the Gambling911.com website.

- Ace King, Gambling911.com

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