Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie isn’t done talking about the NJ sports betting case yet, as he addressed the issue on Friday morning.
What’s new from Christie on sports betting
New York sports radio host Craig Carton is back on the air.
His new program Carton & Friends debuted Thursday on the web-based FNSTY Sports Network. The weekday show runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., broadcast in front of a live audience at Studio 34.
Christie was the show’s first guest, musing about Major League Baseball’s Opening Day and performing a passable rendition of “Meet the Mets.”
Sports betting came up in conversation, too, and Christie offered some thoughts on the progress of the ongoing US Supreme Court case.
Christie talks sports betting
Christie is intimately familiar with the current state of the sports betting union. It was under his governance that New Jersey tried to legalize the activity, and his name headlined the Supreme Court case while he held office. (It is now called Murphy vs. NCAA, after new Gov. Phil Murphy.)
The former governor was present for oral arguments in December, too, and he was publicly optimistic in his on-site press conference. His stance hasn’t changed in the meantime.
“I expect that the state of New Jersey will win that case,” Christie told Carton, “and that we’ll win it in either May or June of this year.”
Carton prodded further, and Christie doubled down with a more specific prediction: “I feel, given the tenor of the arguments, I feel pretty good that we’re going to get five or six votes.”
Five votes are the minimum needed for victory in the nine-member court.
Christie also expects no federal limitations on wagering types and an NJ sports betting law that permits it at current gaming facilities.
Watch the full interview here:
Also, Carton is back
Christie’s appearance was the undercard to the revelation that the show even exists at all. Carton has a long history in broadcasting that has recently hit the rocks.
In September 2017, federal officials arrested Carton on charges of securities fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy. Along with two others, he’s alleged to have swindled investors out of $5.6 million in a Ponzi scheme surrounding concert tickets. He’s pleaded not guilty and is set to stand trial later this year.
Court documents indicate that Carton used the money to pay off gambling debts, among other things, which is troubling in its own right. That’s especially true considering some of that debt was to “third parties” and not casinos. Addressing problem gambling is, of course, one of the cited benefits of legalization and regulation. He quickly resigned from his show on WFAN.
Prior to his fall, Carton was considered one of the most influential broadcasters in sports radio. “Boomer and Carton,” with co-host Boomer Esiason, was a widely syndicated, top-rated show at times during its ten-year run. His return to the airwaves was far from timid, taking several shots at his former employer and other competitors.
It was also necessary to at least address the elephant in the room, which he did. “I will do everything in my power to win that case, and hope that I do,” he said of his legal situation. “From now until then, I’m going to do what I do best, and that’s sit here with you folks and do a radio broadcast.”
Christie a friend of the show, host
It was no surprise to see Carton draft Christie with the first overall pick. The two have a long-standing personal and professional relationship that has been well documented. On introduction, Carton half-jokingly cited himself as a foundation for the governor’s success and popularity.
“We’re friends with his wife and his children,” Christie previously told the NY Post. “They’ve swam in our pool, they’ve come to our house for barbecues, we’ve gone to theirs. We’ve gone out to dinner together. This friendship has been a friendship for a decade.”
Christie is a big fan of the show, too. He occasionally filled in for Esiason as co-host of the WFAN broadcast, and he even auditioned for a more-permanent role on the network.
“Welcome back to the air,” he told Carton at the close of the conversation. “It is a relief having your entertainment back in the morning, and I look forward to listening.”
Carton remains popular with the Christie family, but there’s no denying he’s lost some respect with his audience.