New Jersey Tries Yet Again For Sports Betting Legalization

by Jim Hall

Lawmakers in New Jersey have ramped up efforts once again to try and see sports betting legalized in the state.

In the United States, there are laws in place that prohibit sports betting from taking place in every state except a select few. Delaware offers only parlay wagering while Nevada offers single sports betting. If you are located in other states and want to enjoy sports betting options, you are out of luck. The state of New Jersey has tried to see legislation pass that would allow for sports betting to take place within their borders but so far has been unsuccessful. Despite not being able to pass legislation, the state continues their efforts, just recently reviving their attempts to be allowed into the industry.

A New Bill Emerges

A new bill has been created that will allow for a repeal of prohibition against wagers on sporting contests and events, having been introduced last week within the State Assembly. Known as AB 4303, the bill is sponsored by Assemblymen John Burzichelli and Ralph Caputo and is the next attempt by the state to try and assist the horse racing and casino gaming industries.

A Long History with Sports Betting Legislation Attempts

For over five years, the state of New Jersey has tried to see sports betting legalized within their borders. Back in 2011, voters approved a referendum that legalized sports betting gambling. By the next year, legislators had approved a bill to allow licensing to be provided to casinos and racetracks of the state to accept wagers for college and professional sports contests. Governor Chris Christie signed the bill into law.

Despite this progress, the option was not allowed to take place as the sports leagues became involved, taking the matter to the courts. The NFL, NHL, NBA, NCAA and the MLB were not happy with the legislation, stating the bill was in violation of federal law in which sports betting is banned nationwide, expect within four states. The groups also felt that the wagering law would have an impact on the integrity of their sports games within each league.

Chris ChristieRecently, Governor Chris Christie signed a bill being sponsored by Senator Raymond Lesniak that would repeal the 2012 law, only partially. Back in August, the United States Court of Appeal for the Third Circuit stopped the efforts by Lesniak stating that the measure was in violation of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. This is the law in which sports betting is prohibited within the US. However, the court did state that New Jersey could not be stopped in efforts to repeal state laws that currently exist on wagering.

The New Bill Repeals

The new bill created does try to repeal the 2012 law without encroaching on the federal ban. If the bill were allowed to pass, then it would provide sports betting to take place in the state. Those who are interested in the industry would be able to take part. The bill does seem to have some issues as not listing restrictions on who would be allowed to offer a sportsbook as well as age limits. This could hinder the legislation from passing into law.

Caputo recently talked to the media and stated that the introduction of the new bill is just the beginning of a process that is quite complex and certain restrictions will need to be put in place in such regards as to how can offer sports betting and who can place wagers. It is believed that the most recent proposal will not move forward quickly.