WASHINGTON (AP) -- Two New Jersey congressmen are renewing their efforts to allow sports betting in the state.

Mario Tama, Getty Images

Democrat Frank Pallone Jr. and Republican Frank LoBiondo introduced bills last week taking two different approaches toward the same goal.

Pallone's bill would exempt New Jersey from the federal ban on sports betting in 46 states.

“My bill would simply allow New Jersey to have sports betting by essentially repealing the prohibition that’s on the books at the federal level. I don’t believe that that federal prohibition is constitutional and I’m hoping that the courts will ultimately find that, but in the absence of that we have to try to move some legislation that would allow New Jersey under the federal law to do sports betting,” Pallone said.

LoBiondo's bill would re-open a window for any state that wants to legalize sports betting to do it in the next four years.

“Congressman LoBiondo and I have been working together on a bi-partisan basis and his bill which I also support would basically open it up so any state could opt in. We basically introduced both bills and we’re supporting both possible avenues to get there,” Pallone said.

New Jersey has been trying since 2009 to offer sports betting, but has repeatedly been rebuffed by courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

Its latest appeal is working its way through the courts.


Kevin McArdle contributed to this story.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)