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NEWS 26 January 2015

Latest New Jersey sports-betting bills launched

By David Cook
New Jersey Representatives Frank LoBiondo and Frank Pallone have introduced respective bills that would allow New Jersey to legalise sports betting.

One bill would exempt the state from the current federal ban on sports betting while the other would create a four-year window in which states could enact laws legalising such wagering.

Pallone referenced a ballot vote in 2011, where New Jersey citizens opted in favour of sports wagering, as reasoning for the legislation.

He said: “New Jersey voters have spoken loud and clear: they want to be able to place wagers on sporting events legally.

“We know that sports betting is occurring without regulation and that the revenues from it are going to illegal enterprises rather than businesses in New Jersey, like our casinos and racetracks.

"It is time to bring this activity out of the shadows and allow states to regulate it.”

The Professional Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 placed a federal ban on sports betting, but New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has attempted to introduce legal sports wagering in the state on two occasions, in 2012 and 2014.

But the implementation of the law has been blocked on both occasions after lawsuits were filed by the four professional sports leagues and NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association).

LoBiondo feels the new bill could revitalise the gaming industry in Atlantic City.

"Increasing competition from neighbouring states and the proliferation of off-the-books betting has left Atlantic City’s gaming operations at a disadvantage,” he said.
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