Sports betting effort continues [POLL/AUDIO]
Despite a move from the U.S. Supreme Court that reinforces the federal ban on sports betting in New Jersey, a state lawmaker claims the fight isn’t over “until the fat lady sings.”
State Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union), while disappointed by the court’s decision not to hear New Jersey’s appeal on sports betting, introduced legislation Monday which would repeal all state laws that make sports betting illegal at casinos and racetracks in New Jersey.
“I do know that Monmouth Racetrack is prepared to start taking bets in September, and I expect to be there on Sept. 8 to bet on the Giants to cover the spread against the Detroit Lions on the first Monday Night Football game,” Lesniak told Townsquare Media.
New Jersey missed the boat more than 20 years ago when Congress restricted sports wagering to four states, including Nevada. State leaders have recently argued, though, that hundreds of billions of dollars are bet illegally on sports each year, and none of that goes to the state’s coffers.
“We should not be denied what Las Vegas has for its economy,” Lesniak said. “This would be a big boost to both our casino industry and our racetrack industry – a much-needed boost.”
Lesniak said he would expect the U.S. Justice Department to refrain from intervening if New Jersey allows sports betting; they have not interfered with Colorado and Washington, who legalized recreational marijuana.
At this point, it is uncertain if Gov. Chris Christie would approve of Lesniak’s approach, even though he led the charge to overturn the ban. Reacting to the decision, Christie told reporters the state has to “move on.”