Pallone & LoBiondo Team Up to Bring Sports-Gaming to New Jersey

Feb 13, 2013 Issues: New Jersey

WASHINGTON DC – As oral arguments begin in federal court regarding New Jersey’s efforts to legally accept wagers on sporting events, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) and Congressman Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02) announced today that they have again introduced legislation to expand sports gaming to their state. Through different mechanisms, each bill would be effective in bringing sports gaming, and its associated revenue potentially amounting to billions, to the state.

“New Jersey must be allowed to move forward with sports gaming and bring much needed revenue to the state,” said Pallone.  “Rather than continuing to allow criminal and offshore entities to reap the benefits of illegal gaming, we should let the democratic process in New Jersey bring sports gaming under controlled regulation.  Whether it is through the courts, through my bill or through Congressman LoBiondo’s bill I believe that ultimately New Jersey’s right to move forward with sports gaming will be recognized and I look forward to working to that end.”

 “New Jersey has been clear about its intent to host sports-betting. Legalizing sports-betting would strengthen Atlantic City in the face of stiff competition, giving it an additional edge to attract visitors and critical tourism dollars,” said LoBiondo. “I’m pleased to again work with Congressman Pallone in our effort to bring sports-betting to our state.”

The federal ban on professional and amateur sports betting enacted in 1992 currently prohibits states from implementing any new form of sports gaming. The Congressmen introduced two bills that that would provide for changes in the law that would allow sports gaming in New Jersey. H.R. 626 (Pallone) would exempt New Jersey from current federal law and H.R. 625 (LoBiondo) opens a window in which all states can enact a law providing for sports gambling in their state until January 1, 2017. Both lawmakers are again cosponsoring the other’s legislation.

In November 2011, New Jersey voters supported a ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to allow sports gaming at casinos and racetracks by an almost 2-1 margin. The state of New Jersey subsequently passed and the Governor signed legal sports betting into law, but federal law still prohibits sports betting in the state. Pallone and LoBiondo will now work together to build greater bipartisan support for their shared goal in the 113th Congress.

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