N.J. Senate Preps Sports Gambling Bill

If voters approve a Nov. 8 ballot question to legalize sports gambling, legislators will have a bill ready to pass, putting measures in place if federal bans on such gambling are overturned.
by | September 26, 2011

Gambling advocates in New Jersey are gauging their odds on sports betting. Pending voter approval of a November ballot question regarding legalized sports betting, legislators in the state Senate want to prepare a bill outlining its potential implementation, the Press of Atlantic City reports.

The state would still have to contend with a federal ban on sports betting in all but four states. Two state legislators previously sued to repeal this ban, but a federal judge concluded the state had no legal standing because the voters had not authorized the practice. Lawmakers would have to work between Nov. 9 and the end of the legislative session on Jan. 9 to pass any legislation, according to the Press.

Any legislation would include protection against cheating and underage gambling, state Sen. Raymond Lesniak said. Software would be utilized to detect any betting patterns that could indicate efforts to influence the outcome of the game, the Press reports.

Sen. Lesniak told the newspaper that instead of another legal battle to overturn the federal ban, the state would defend sports gambling if the Justice Department brought a legal challenge.

According to one gambling consultant, sports betting could reap $100 million in revenues for New Jersey, the Press reported. “Why should Las Vegas be packed on Super Bowl weekend and Atlantic City be deserted?” Sen. Lesniak posed in the article.


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