New Jersey May Soon Allow Sports Betting
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Title: New Jersey May Soon Allow Sports Betting
Summary: A recent bill proposed in New Jersey may soon allow the state to legalize sports betting. Will it apply to online gambling as well?
Early last week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear New Jersey’s quest to allow sports betting. The decision seemingly ended the quest by Gov. Chris Christie’s administration to allow sports betting, a quest that has cost more than $3 million in legal fees.
“They said no, so we have to move on,” Christie said in an appearance in Manhattan on Monday, shortly after being notified of the decision. For all intents and purposes, the issue was dead.
That changed three days later. Late Thursday night, a bill was quickly passed by state lawmakers and is currently on Gov. Christie’s desk. The bill, should it be approved, would drop the state’s prohibitions on sports wagering in casinos and tracks, and it would likely extend to online gambling as well. If Gov. Christie were to approve this bill, it would take effect immediately. He has 45 days to either modify or veto the bill.
The bill would be the shot in the arm that the casino industry needs. Though land-based and online gambling sites are pulling in a decent amount of revenue, and continue to run no deposit promotions to pull more users in, they need more money. Sports betting would be just the ticket that they need.
Meanwhile, very few casinos are preparing to make any changes. Since the issue has been going on for so long, many aren’t expecting anything to change. However, Senator Raymond Lesniak said that if the bill is passed, he expects the Monmouth Park racetrack in Oceanport, Monmouth County to be the first to offer bets. He claims that if the bill is passed, Monmouth Park would be prepared to take bets at the start of the football season.
If passed, and Monmouth Park allowed sports betting, the eyes of the nation would once again be on New Jersey. If it’s successful in New Jersey, it could potentially occur elsewhere.
The issue comes from a federal law in 1992. The law banned any new states from offering sports wagering. New Jersey missed a 1993 deadline to approve it. In 2011, voters approved a sports betting referendum, and a law passed by legislators in 2012 provided the framework. Several sports organizations sued to block it, and federal courts sided with the sports leagues.
When the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear it, the issue was thought to be dead. However, a proposal was drafted, introduced, and cleared through both the General Assembly and Senate following emergency votes.
Though there’s seemingly no downside, lawmakers are still hesitant to even hear about the issue. Governor Christie has full control of the issue now, and the decision he makes in the next 45 days could change the gambling industry forever.