Thursday September 11,2014 : LEGISLATIVE MOVES TO BACK NEW JERSEY SPORTS BETTING DECLARATION (Update)
Sen. Ray Lesniak to launch new clarifying sports betting bill.
In a follow up to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's declaration earlier this week that the state will not act against in-state racetracks and casinos taking sports bets, state Senator Ray Lesniak has indicated that he will soon introduce clarifying legalization in support.
The senator says that his proposal will seek to explicitly abolish any prior legislative provisions prohibiting Atlantic City casinos and state racetracks from taking sports wagers.
Lesniak will be remembered as the politician who pushed through laws legalising intrastate online gambling and previous sports betting bills aimed at circumventing the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.
Christie's endorsement of Lesniak's original 2012 sports betting bill effectively repealed prior state (as opposed to federal) bans on intrastate sports betting, New Jersey's Attorney General John Hoffman has suggested in support of the governor's decision that the state will not interfere if sports betting is implemented at New Jersey tracks and casinos.
Although he acknowledges that the governor has asked Judge Michael Shipp to clarify his position on New Jersey's latest move, Sen. Lesniak appears confident that the new initiative will stand, and says that he intends to support the state by introducing a measure that will seek to “…specifically abolish language on the books that prevents sports betting.”
This will assist state officials in the event of further legal challenges by federal bodies or national sports leagues, he said.
Lesniak is looking at a short time horizon for the new measure, on which he hopes to have the approval of the state Legislature by end September 2014.
In related news, Monmouth Park racetrack has followed up on its initial and ambitious statement on the start of sports betting by advising that it will wait at least 45 days before launching its intrastate sports book, probably in collaboration with the US division of global bookmaking company William Hill plc.
The legal adviser for the track told media Wednesday that the new facility will require substantial technical and equipment additions, and the employment of more than a hundred additional staff.