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Senate approves resolution supporting case for sports betting in N.J.

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Lawmakers voted to approve a resolution Thursday in support of the state's fight for sports betting.
Lawmakers voted to approve a resolution Thursday in support of the state's fight for sports betting. - (NJBIZ file photo)

As New Jersey waits on the U.S. Supreme Court to make a decision on whether or not it will hear its case regarding the legalization of sports betting, lawmakers voted to approve a resolution Thursday in support of the state's fight.

“The long-sought battle to allow sports betting in New Jersey is approaching a pivotal point where the U.S. Supreme Court decides if it will consider our lawsuit,” state Sen. Jim Whelan (D-Northfield) said. “This resolution is a strong expression of support. Sports betting will be good for New Jersey and especially important to Atlantic City.”

The state is seeking to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, a federal law that restricts sports wagering to just Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon. The U.S. District Court and the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals have previously defeated past attempts by the state to reverse the law.

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“Sports gambling has long been taking place throughout the country but it hasn’t been legal, regulated or producing tax revenue,” state Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) added. “Legalizing what is already a widespread practice will bring consumer safeguards for participants and generate economic benefits at a time when they are needed.”

Speaking last month at the annual East Coast Gaming Congress in Atlantic City, Lesniak told those in attendance to “go to the bank” on sports betting coming to New Jersey by next year. He has said that if the high court chooses not to take up the state’s case, he will look to move legislation that would skirt around the federal guidelines and allow unregulated sports betting at the state’s casinos and racetracks.

The state expects to hear back from the Supreme Court by the end of the month.

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Andrew George

Andrew George

Andrew George covers the Statehouse from NJBIZ's Trenton bureau. Born and raised in N.J., Andrew has also spent time as a reporter in D.C., Texas and Pa. His email is andrewg@njbiz.com and he is @AndrGeorge on Twitter.

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