New Jersey Politician Introduces Sports Betting Bill

This story was published more than 12 years ago.

New Jersey State Senator Ray Lesniak has introduced a sports betting bill to the State Senate, acting quickly after voters approved a referendum on the matter last month.

The bill was voted through by the Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee by a vote of four to one. Lesniak has stated that he hopes to have the legislation in front of Governor Chris Christie's desk within 30 days.

If the bill passes the New Jersey state legislature, it would still be blocked by federal law that prohibits sports gambling except for certain states. New Jersey is currently not on that list, and would need to get an exemption from this federal law to be able to legally conduct sports betting.

Earlier in the year Lesniak filed a lawsuit against the federal law and lost in court as it was found that no clear economic harm could be attributed to New Jersey without having some clear support by the public in a vote or through the state legislature.

Commenting on the federal law, Lesniak said: “We have essentially set up a constitutional crisis in which the will of the people, expressed at the ballot box, has come into conflict with a flawed and ultimately unconstitutional federal law. This federal ban blatantly discriminates between states and creates a monopoly for Las Vegas casinos and illegal gambling rings.”