Two New Jersey politicians have announced that they are re-introducing bills into their the House which would circumvent the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, allowing sportsbetting in their state.
State Representatives Frank A. LoBiondo and Frank Pallone held a press conference this week in which they announced they would be re-introducing bills that would circumvent PAPSA in order to have sportsbetting allowed at Atlantic City casinos and race tracks. The duo had originally introduced the bills in 2013, but pulled them after New Jersey's Governor approved other legislation to legalize sportsbetting.
Their bill would exempt New Jersey from being one of 46 states forbidden from offering sportsbetting, allowing the activity until January 1, 2017.
Speaking about his reasoning for the bill LoBiondo said, "Increasing competition from neighboring states and the proliferation of off-the-books betting has left Atlantic City’s gaming operations at a disadvantage. Sports-betting can help give our famed resort town a hand up, providing yet another unique option for patrons in addition to the quality entertainment, dining, shopping and beaches. I'm pleased Congressman Pallone, our casinos, local elected officials and an overwhelming majority of New Jersey residents agree and hope that a bipartisan coalition in Congress can come together in support of legalizing and regulating sports-betting."
Representative Pallone added, “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. I am pleased to join Congressman LoBiondo in supporting this bipartisan legislation that will help level the playing field and give New Jersey’s citizens the opportunity to share in the profits from sports betting.”
Currently New Jersey is fighting a legal battle to legalize sportsbetting within their borders, as a court case between the State and the country's professional sports teams, who are opposed to any expansion of legal sportsbetting.
It is widely thought that legalized sportsbetting could be a significant factor in improving New Jersey's betting industry, which has suffered heavily over the last several years.