DFS Bill Moves Forward in New Jersey

by Jim Hall

New JerseyA bill involving daily fantasy sports has moved forward in New Jersey, passing within the Assembly.

The state of New Jersey has been quite busy as of late when it comes to gaming news. The Hard Rock International company acquired the former Trump Taj Mahal and plans on reopening next summer, a tax issue is going to court to see a possible end to the gaming industry’s PILOT program offering lower payments in lieu of taxes, as well as so much more. One positive movement in regards to gaming in the state has seemingly slipped to the wayside as far as big news is concerned. Taking a cue from other states, legislation in regards to daily fantasy sports has moved forward in New Jersey. The Assembly recently passed a bill that would see DFS gaming legalized and regulated in the state.

A 3532 DFS Gaming Bill

Many states in the US are looking to daily fantasy sports regulations in order to bring more money to their coffers. New Jersey is no exception. A 3532 was recently reviewed by the State Assembly and moved forward by a vote of 56 to 16. Six members of the Assembly chose not to vote while two abstained. The measure is sponsored by Assemblymen Ralph Caputo, Vincent Mazzeo, John J. Burzichelli and Paul Moriarty. The bill now moves forward to the Senate for consideration.

The measure was created in a pretty straight-forward way, involving the same rules and regulations that other states have included in their legislation. The sponsors of the measure see the gaming option as one that is not gambling and argue that DFS activities are contests where relative skill is involved and predominates over chance in determining the outcome.

Proponents are also citing DFS bills of other states that consider the activity one that is not equal to gambling. The sponsors of the measure also want to see protections in place for consumers who take part in DFS gaming, along with protections for operators.

Sports Betting Efforts Coincide

On top of trying to see daily fantasy sports betting legalized in the state, legislators have been working on sports betting legislation. For some time now, the state has been fighting a losing battle in order to offer sports betting activity within their borders. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 stands in their way as it makes sports betting illegal in every state of the US except four.

Montana, Delaware, Nevada and Oregon are the only states allowed to offer such activities. When the bill was passed, states that already had legal sports betting in place within the past ten years were allowed to be exempted from the law.

New Jersey wants the ability to offer such gaming options and have fought their way to the Supreme Court. The state is arguing that the PASPA legislation is not constitutional as it is in violation of the state’s right to choose how they handle gambling.

Two House of Representatives members that represent the state have decided to introduce bills in order to allow sports betting to take place in the state. H.R. 783 was created by Frank LoBiondo that would allow states to opt-in to offer sports betting. The second measure is H.R. 784 that was created by Frank Pallone and would exempt New Jersey from the law and allow them to offer sports betting.

Overall, the state has been very busy when it comes gambling expansions and changes. It will be interesting to see if the DFS legislation is able to pass as well as what happens in the case of sports betting and the Supreme Court.