Legal Sports Betting?

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Sen. Raymond Lesniak, D-Union, last week filed suit in U.S. District Court to overturn a federal ban on sports wagering and potentially create more than $100 million of annual revenue for New Jersey.

Legalized sports betting would allow the state’s casinos and racetracks to accept wagers, with the state regulating and taxing such activity. Currently, only Nevada, Oregon, Delaware, and Montana are exempt from the federal ban. Nevada is the only state that conducts legalized sports wagering.

“This federal law deprives the state of New Jersey of over $100 million of yearly revenues, as well as depriving our casinos, racetracks, and internet operators of over $500 million of gross income,” Lesniak said in a press release.

Joining Lesniak in the suit are the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association, the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, the Thoroughbred Breeders Association of New Jersey, and the Standardbred Breeder & Owners Association of New Jersey.

If the courts choose to lift the federal restriction, New Jersey residents would then vote on the issue.

A state resolution urging Congress to end the federal ban passed in the Senate last month. An identical bill sits in the Assembly’s Tourism and Gaming Committee.

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