December 9, 2011 : Sen. Lesniak keeps the pressure on as sports betting bill heads for House of Assembly
New Jersey media report that Sen. Ray Lesniak's intrastate sports betting bill S-3113 continues to make rapid progress through legislative committees and was signed off by a Senate panel Thursday, clearing the way for it to go before the House for debate and perhaps a vote as early as next week.
From there it will go to the Senate, and Lesniak remains confident he can push the measure through before the holiday break with a Senate vote around December 15.
After that, Gov. Chris Christie will again be faced with supporting the will of the Legislature and the electorate, or exercising his veto rights.
InfoPowa readers will recall that the desirability of intrastate sports betting was overwhelmingly confirmed in a November 8 ballot of state residents, after which Lesniak launched a new bill which could bring the state into a confrontation with federal government over the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 which restricts sports betting to selected states.
This week Lesniak told the Associated Press news agency that his bill has the potential to generate very significant tax revenues for the state and its troubled gambling centre of Atlantic City. Its passage will be worthwhile, he said, even if it is necessary to ultimately confront federal legalization like the PASPA in the courts.
"All the studies we’ve seen show that of all the hundreds of millions of dollars in wagers this will generate, 70 percent of that will come through the internet,” Lesniak claimed.