Wednesday, November 9, 2011 : Referendum yields positive results for gambling proponents
Unofficial results on a New Jersey ballot question on the legal right to sports betting showed 66 percent of voters in favour and 34 percent opposed.
With the passage of the topic determined by the State's voters, Govenor Chris Christie is said to be preparing to legalise the activity but only when the Federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) has been repealed.
The 1992-enacted Federal law bans sports wagering in all States but Montana, Delaware, Oregon and Nevada.
On casting his ballot, Govenor Christie said: "With this referendum, we have an opportunity that gives the state more solid footing to challenge the federal ban on sports wagering outside of a few select places."
Legalised sportsbetting proponents say the activity would boost Atlantic City casino and racetrack revenues to the tune of $230 million annually and lift tourism figures.
The ballot results will no doubt prove encouraging to State Senator Raymond Lesniak (D., Union) who plans on introducing a new legalization attempt by the end of this week.
Lesniak's legalization would allow New Jersey's Casino Control Commission to embark on a sports betting licensing programme at establishments in the State County's of Monmouth, Meadowlands, Mays Landing and Freehold.
"I expect to get it to Governor Christie for his signature before the end of the year," said Lesniak. "By the start of next year's NFL season, when the Eagles play the Giants, you'd better reserve your room soon in Atlantic City, because it will be packed, just like Las Vegas is now."