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Christie’s directive Monday immediately lifted the prohibition on sports wagering at the New Jersey businesses. The governor’s move comes after three major Atlantic City casinos closed this year and two more announced they will soon go out of business. BY BILL HUTCHINSON NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Published: Monday, September 8, 2014, 12:37 PM Updated: Monday, September 8, 2014, 6:51 PM A A A 327 61 17 SHARE THIS URL New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie issued a directive Monday that immediately lifted the prohibition on sports wagering at casinos and racetracks. HENRY ROMERO/REUTERS New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie issued a directive Monday that immediately lifted the prohibition on sports wagering at casinos and racetracks. With Atlantic City casino business in free fall, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is gambling that sports betting will bail out the boardwalk empire. Christie issued a directive Monday immediately lifting the prohibition on sports wagering at Garden State casinos and racetracks. The governor is seizing on a recent federal court ruling that found nothing in New Jersey law forbids casinos and horse racing tracks from offering sports betting. In September, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that while a federal ban on sports betting in New Jersey was constitutional, it did not prevent the state from repealing the prohibition. “Based on the arguments of the sports leagues and the United States Department of Justice, the 3rd Circuit has already ruled that New Jersey can carry out sports wagering as described in today’s statewide directive,” the governor’s office said in a statement. The casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey RON ANTONELLI/BLOOMBERG Once the East Coast’s gambling hub, Atlantic City (seen here) has suffered as casinos opened in neighboring states such as New York and Pennsylvania after they legalized gambling or expanded betting to increase tax revenue. “The motion simply would clarify and formalize that authority and give clear guidance to casinos and racetracks waiting to open a sports pool in New Jersey.” Christie’s move comes after three major Atlantic City casinos closed this year and two more announced they will soon go out of business. Atlantic City casino revenue has plummeted from $5.2 billion in 2006 to $2.9 billion in 2013 — a 44% decline, according to the University of Nevada at Las Vegas’ Center for Gaming Research. Sports betting was approved by Jersey voters in 2011 and allowed under the state’s Sports Betting Wagering Act that was passed by the legislature and signed by Christie in 2012. California Chrome at Belmont StakesChristie is hoping that sports betting will save the struggling casinos.PreviousNextCalifornia Chrome at Belmont Stakes Crowds cheer at Belmont Stakes This Oct. 21, 2011 file photo shows discarded losing tickets littering the ground at Freehold Raceway in Freehold, N.J. The Supreme Court on Monday left in place a ban on sports gambling in New Jersey, rebuffing an attempt to bring betting on professional and college sporting events to Atlantic City casinos and the state’s racetracks. The justices did not comment in letting stand lower court rulings that struck down New Jersey’s sports betting law because it conflicts with a federal law that that allows state-sanctioned sports gambling only in Nevada and three other states. Credit – AP Photo/Wayne Parry Enlarge COREY SIPKIN/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS But the law was blocked when several professional sports organizations and the Collegiate Athletic Association filed an appeal in federal court. The Republican governor also vetoed two bills last month passed by the Democrat-controlled legislature in an attempt to circumvent the federal ruling. The new law could be derailed again if sports leagues go back to federal court to challenge Christie’s order. Acting New Jersey Attorney General John Hoffman wasted no time in instructing law enforcement agencies Monday that sports betting at casinos and race tracks was now legal. A MARCH 28, 2012 PHOTO WAYNE PARRY/AP Atlantic City casino revenue has plummeted from $5.2 billion in 2006 to $2.9 billion in 2013 — a 44% decline. Under Christie’s directive, casinos and racetracks will be allowed to take bets on sporting events with the exception of teams in New Jersey — including the Jets and Giants. The action was praised by state lawmakers worried about the economic disaster facing Atlantic City. “We cannot sit idle while thousands of residents lose their jobs and a key revenue source … fades,” Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson) said in a statement. With News Wire Services Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/chris-christie-issues-directive-letting-casinos-racetracks-offer-sports-betting-article-1.1932168