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NJ Eager to Legalise Intra-State Sportsbetting


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A bid to legalise intra-state sports betting in New Jersey received a
huge shot in the arm on Monday this week, when the majority of both the State
Senate and General Assembly voted in favour of betting-friendly legislation.

The legislation in question is designed to allow the New Jersey Casino Control
Commission to issue licenses to land casinos and racetracks, which would permit
them to accept wagers from betting fans that live in the state on selected
college and professional sporting events.

NJ Lawmakers Eager to Offer Sports Betting

Sponsored by State Senators Raymond Lesniak and Jeff Van Drew, the legislation
was approved by 35 votes to 2 in the Senate, and by 73 votes to 7 in the General
Assembly, indicating that lawmakers in the state are eager to get on board the
lucrative ‘sports betting bandwagon’.

However, New Jersey may still have a long way to go before intra-state sports
betting is legalised, because even if the legislation made it so far as to be
signed into law by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the state will still have
to go to court to have the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Promotion Act
of 1992 (PASPA) overturned.

And it won’t be the first time the state has gone up against PASPA. A previous
suit to overturn the Act spearheaded by Lesniak and State Senator Stephen
Sweeney was unceremoniously overturned by a federal judge, who cited the reason
that the lawsuit should have been brought by the NJ Attorney General’s Office,
and not Lesniak and Sweeney.

Although Lesniak has confirmed that he fully intends to re-file his federal
lawsuit – after first consulting with the Attorney General – he has stated that
the ensuing court case could drag out for as long as a year. But he is still
optimistic.

Beginning of the End for Federal Sports Betting Ban

Said Lesniak, ‘These votes by both houses of the legislature and the voters of
New Jersey are the beginning of the end of the inequitable Federal ban on sports
betting. This time next year our residents won’t have to fly to Las Vegas or
visit their local bookie to bet on the Giants, Jets or Eagles to win the Super
Bowl.

‘They will be able to go to an Atlantic City casino, Monmouth Racetrack
or The Meadowlands. I guarantee a victory in the federal courts for New Jersey
to be able to enjoy the same benefits from sports betting Congress has given to
Nevada,’ he said.

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