Shore Congressmen Renew Sports Bet Legalization Push
Do you want to bet on the Super Bowl - or any pro or college sports event - for more than office pool money? Two shore Congressional representatives think you do, and they've reintroduced their measures to legalize it.
Representative Frank Pallone (D-6)'s measure, H.R. 457, would exempt New Jersey from the federal law that took effect in 1992, limiting the number of states that could engage in legal sports wagering. State officials in 1992 allowed a windo of opportunity to close by letting a federal ban take effect without opting in. Four states are permitted to regulate sports wagering.
Representative Frank Lobiondo (D-2)'s bill would give all states the chance to enact legalized sports betting for four years, upon approval by the President.
Each lawmaker co-sponsors the other's bill. They contend that legalizaton would improve New Jersey's economic condition and thwart bookies.
Lobiondo has previously lobbied for legal sports wagering in Atlantic City.
"Increasing competition from neighboring states and the proliferation of off-the-books betting has left Atlantic City's gaming operations at a disadvantage," Lobiondo said in a prepared release. "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."
Pallone pointed out that New Jersey voters in 2011 approved a referendum to allow sports wagers.
"We know that sports betting is occurring without regulation and that the revenues from it are going to illegal enterprises rather than businesses in New Jersey, like our casinos and racetracks," Pallone said in a prepared statement. "It is time to bring this activity out of the shadows and allow states to regulate it."
After voter approval, the movement became mired in lawsuits filed by the professional baseball, basketball and hockey leagues and the NCAA. New Jersey's case was defeated in court and again on appeal in the Third Circuit. The Supreme Court denied a hearing on the appellate ruling.
Sports league opposition softened a bit when NBA Commissioner Adam Silver threw his support to it in a New York Times op-ed piece.