NJ's Corzine wants sports bets, cites Delaware threat

General Motors will close its plant near Wilmington, Del., idling the region's last 450 auto workers. (Michael Wirtz / Staff Photographer)

New Jersey's scared of little Delaware.

"Delaware’s entry into sports wagering and table games is a serious threat to both the casino and horse racing industries in New Jersey,” Governor Corzine said in a statement today. (More about Delaware Gov. Jack Markell's campaign to make NFL, NCAA and other score gambling legal here.)

“We must do everything in our power to stay competitive," Corzine said in a statement. "We simply cannot afford to sit back and let neighboring states press an unfair advantage against us anytime, and certainly not in the midst of this global economic crisis.”

Corzine said he'd back a lawsuit by State Sen. Raymond Lesniak to overturn a federal ban on sports betting that covers most states but exempts Delaware. "Legalized sports betting in Delaware is a cause for concern within the gaming industry in New Jersey because it puts Atlantic City at a competitive disadvantage." He cited estimates of $10 billion in NJ sports bets and $100 million for state tax coffers if the ban ends.

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