Jersey Congressmen Pushing Separate Sports Betting Bills [AUDIO]
With the Giants heading to the Super Bowl, a lot of Jersey football fans will be placing a friendly wager on the big game.
Now we get word two Jersey Congressional representatives are sponsoring separate measures to legalize sports betting in the Garden state.
Congressman Frank Pallone says after Jersey voters passed a non-binding referendum last November to approve sports betting - by a 2 to 1 margin "it really isn't fair and it isn't appropriate for the federal government to stand in the way."
He says his legislation would lift the federal ban - only for New Jersey.
"We're not dealing with any other state" says Pallone, " we're simply making a carve-out for New Jersey and we're saying that any sports betting would be allowed in New Jersey that is passed by the state Legislature… this is a way to generate some significant revenue that helps take the burden away from the middle class - and also creates jobs."
He points out "right now, many people are placing bets - they're betting off-shore, they're betting illegally under the current law - we're losing the revenue to - who knows who - and that revenue could come to the state…I'm hopeful we can move on this - I do think it has a good chance of passing."
A separate bill - sponsored by Congressman Frank LoBiondo - would re-open the federal statute prohibiting sports-betting in 46 states, including New Jersey.
"Jersey has been clear about its intent to host sports-betting" he says, "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. Now that Governor Christie has signed the sports-betting bill into law, I will introduce my legislation to give our state that right."
His measure would give all states the right to approve sports betting - as long as they act by 2016.
LoBiondo Co-chairs the Congressional Gaming Caucus.