NJ Gambling on Sports Betting - NBC 10 Philadelphia

NJ Gambling on Sports Betting

State Senate considers gambling changes

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    NJ Gambling on Sports Betting
    Getty Images
    OTB culd be going mainstream in N.J.

    New Jersey lawmakers are considering expanding gambling in Atlantic City and beyond.

    Sports betting and in-state Internet gambling are on the horizon, and the state is moving toward asserting more control over the nation's second-largest gambling market to try and revive its sagging fortunes.

    Claiming that New Jersey is losing out on hundreds of millions of dollars a year to organized crime and casinos in other states, a state Senate committee urged the legislature on Monday to allow voters to decide whether sports betting should be allowed at the state's casinos and racetracks.

    A resolution passed by the Senate Economic Growth Committee calls for a referendum, to be held next November in which voters would decide whether to allow gambling on professional sports games.

    But a federal ban on sports betting in all but four states would have to be overturned first.

    Sen. Ray Lesniak, D-Union, says revenue from sports betting could help New Jersey's struggling horse tracks stay alive.

    Lesniak is suing the federal government to overturn a ban on sports betting on Constitutional grounds, mainly that it fails to treat all states equally. New Jersey was offered a chance to allow sports betting in 1991, but failed to do so.

    A 1992 law restricts sports betting to the four states that met a deadline to sign up for it: Nevada, where Las Vegas sports books determine the odds for sporting events across the country; Delaware; Montana; and Oregon.

    "It's something whose time has come,'' Lesniak said. "Sports betting is going on every day in every neighborhood. Atlantic City is losing out, New Jersey is losing out.''