Friday January 23,2015 : MORE SPORTS BETTING LEGISLATION IN NEW JERSEY
Fresh bipartisan attempt to exempt state from PASPA and give a four year window for other states to make a choice.
With litigation still ongoing with the national sports leagues over a previous New Jersey state legislative attempt to get around the restrictive federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act news of another attack on the PASPA surfaced in the Garden State this week.
In a press statement New Jersey Representatives Frank A. LoBiondo and Frank Pallone revealed that they plan to resurrect two anti-PASPA bills that they first launched in 2013.
Back then Congressman LoBiondo and Congressman Frank Pallone introduced two bills, H.R. 626 (Pallone) and H.R. 625 (LoBiondo) which respectively sought to exempt New Jersey from current federal law restricting sports betting to four states, and opened a window in which all US states could enact a law providing for sports gambling in their state until January 1, 2017.
Fast forward to January 2015, and the two lawmakers are again moving on these measures. In a media release titled "Reps. LoBiondo & Pallone: Bring Sports Wagering Out of Shadows for Future Super Bowls", the two politicians pledge to support each other in a drive to legalise sports betting in New Jersey.
The timing is good, with the Superbowl scheduled for this weekend.
LoBiondo and Pallone argue that legalised sports betting will benefit New Jersey’s economy and crack down on criminal enterprises which "…operate off-the-book betting in the shadows."
"Increasing competition from neighboring states and the proliferation of off-the-books betting has left Atlantic City’s gaming operations at a disadvantage," LoBiondo claims.
"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. I'm pleased Congressman Pallone, our casinos, local elected officials and an overwhelming majority of New Jersey residents agree and hope that a bipartisan coalition in Congress can come together in support of legalizing and regulating sports-betting."
Pallone added: “New Jersey voters have spoken loud and clear: they want to be able to place wagers on sporting events legally. 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.
"It is time to bring this activity out of the shadows and allow states to regulate it. I am pleased to join Congressman LoBiondo in supporting this bipartisan legalization that will help level the playing field and give New Jersey’s citizens the opportunity to share in the profits from sports betting.”
The federal ban on professional and amateur sports betting enacted in 1992 currently prohibits states from implementing any new form of sports wagering.
The Congressmen have introduced two bills that would provide for changes in the law that would allow sports-betting in New Jersey. H.R. 457 (Pallone) would exempt New Jersey from current federal law and H.R. 416 (LoBiondo) opens a window in which all states can enact a law providing for sports-betting in their state for four years upon being signed by the President.
In 2011, New Jersey voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure to allow sports wagering in New Jersey, but its enactment has been delayed by lawsuits filed against the State of New Jersey by the NCAA and four professional sports leagues.
New Jersey appealed its case in the courts, with the Third Circuit ruling against New Jersey and the U.S. Supreme Court denying to hear the state’s appeal.
However, since then National Basketball Association (NBA) Commissioner Adam Silver has publicly announced his support for legalized sports wagering.
Underlining the massive potential for legal sports betting, the American Gaming Association appeared to come out in support of the wider availability of the genre this week.
The trade association's CEO, Geoff Freeman, estimated that illegal bets on the Superbowl alone this year would be almost $4 billion, an amount which he said indicated the need for changes to allow individual states to benefit from a legalised sports betting market.
Freeman revealed that the AGA is currently studying the status quo on sports betting and the best way forward for the gaming industry in this regard.
Last year the NFL Super Bowl was watched by a record 112 million US viewers. The Nevada Gaming Control Board estimated that sports books netted $19.7 million from the $119.4 million staked on the Seattle Seahawks’ 43-8 win over the Denver Broncos.