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On Eve of Super Bowl LI, Pallone & LoBiondo Again Team Up to Bring Sports-Gaming to New Jersey

February 1, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With Super Bowl LI fast approaching, Congressmen Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) and Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) have reintroduced legislation to legalize sports-betting. The Congressmen called for action on their bills, arguing that legalized sports-betting will benefit New Jersey’s economy and crack down on criminal enterprises which operate off-the-book betting in the shadows. The American Gaming Association estimates that Americans will stake an estimated $4.7 billion on Sunday's game between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons. The AGA estimates that 97 percent of the money wagered on the Super Bowl in the U.S. will be done so illegally.

“Sports-betting is already happening across our state and across the country, but instead of being appropriately overseen and raising needed revenue for our casinos, racetracks, businesses, and the state, these bets are placed through illegal enterprises,” said Congressman Pallone.  “It is time to bring this activity out of the shadows.  I am pleased to join Congressman LoBiondo in reintroducing these commonsense bills that would level the playing field and give New Jersey’s citizens the opportunity to share in the profits from sports betting.”

"Each year competition from neighboring states and the proliferation of off-the-books betting grows, leaving Atlantic City’s gaming operations at a disadvantage. I strongly believe that 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. Over the years we have made progress on bringing sports-betting to our state and I hope that a bipartisan coalition in Congress can come together in support of legalizing and regulating sports-betting," said Congressman LoBiondo.

The federal ban on professional and amateur sports betting enacted in 1992 prohibits states from implementing any new form of sports wagering. The Pallone and LoBiondo bills would lift those restrictions and allow sports-betting in New Jersey and elsewhere. The NJ BET Act (Pallone) would exempt New Jersey from current federal law and the Sports Gaming Opportunity Act (LoBiondo) would allow all states to enact laws providing for sports-betting during a four-year window.

In 2011, New Jersey voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure to allow sports wagering in New Jersey, but its enactment has been delayed by a lawsuit filed against the State of New Jersey by the NCAA and four professional sports leagues.  New Jersey has appealed lower court rulings in that case to the Supreme Court, which will soon decide whether to hear the case.

The bills reintroduced today by Pallone and LoBiondo would ensure a path forward for New Jersey and other states seeking to legalize sports betting, regardless of whether the Supreme Court hears New Jersey’s case.