iMEGA Faces Danger of Losing NJ Gov Jon Corzine

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Sep/21/2009
Jon Corzine

With just a few more weeks until the elections, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, a Democrat, appears to be in serious danger of losing.  Corzine offered up his support of a suit brought forth by the powerful Internet grass roots trade organization, The Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association, that sought to legalize sports betting in New Jersey and bring the activity onto the World Wide Web.   Experts believe that sports betting in the Garden State could generate an estimated $100 million in tax revenue for the state.

Corzine's opponent, Chris Cristie, appears to be within striking distance of New Jersey's current Governor.  The latest attack on Corzine comes from Republicans who question his various personal investments.

Republicans say he's breaking the law because he has a stake in the state's casino industry.

Corzine says that's not true.

His financial disclosures show he has money the hedge fund in TPG-Axon. The fund has the same address and some common officials with Texas Pacific Group, which bought Harrah's Entertainment in 2006. Harrah's owns four Atlantic City casinos.

Texas Pacific Group says that TPG-Axon is a separate group that has no decision-making authority over it.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie says it's a "colossal error in judgment."

Corzine says casino regulators have evaluated the situation , and found him in the clear.

Corzine's interest in legalized sports betting appears to have little connection with his ties to the state's casino sector as the activity would foster competition between all properties in Atlantic City and, quite possibly, firms that operate outside the state.  The Governor joined the suit long after it was initially filed this spring.

The Department of Justice had asked the US District Court to block Corzine's support of the sports betting suit citing 1.) he "[h]as no cognizable interest in this litigation"; 2.) "has no interest that might be impaired by this litigation", and 3.) "Any interest Gov. Corzine might have is adequately protected by the plaintiffs."

DOJ asserts that any issues that the governor may have are already being served by the existing plaintiffs, so he should be barred. However, the DOJ has already signaled its intent to file a motion to dismiss iMEGA and the other plaintiffs.

"This is a curious tactic by the Justice Department to ward off this suit," said Joe Brennan Jr., chairman of iMEGA. "The governor is the duly elected chief executive of his state, and New Jersey obviously has an interest in overturning a law which confers a huge competitive advantage to the only four states that the law (PASPA) protects for sports betting."

A ruling is yet to be handed down in this matter.

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

 

 

 

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