New Jersey is making a hard push to become the first state to legalize and regulated online gambling. But their also pushing other boundaries to help save the state’s struggling fortunes.
Today the Senate Committees urged the legislature on Monday to allow voters to decide whether sports betting should be allowed at the state’s casinos and racetracks. The Committee stressed this was the only logical step considering the state was already losing out on hundreds of millions of dollars every year to organized crime and casinos in other states.
The Senate Economic Growth Committee has called for a referendum to be held next November where voters would be given the opportunity to decide whether to allow gambling on professional sports games. But that’s just the beginning. Even if the vote was favorable, a federal ban on sports betting in all but four states would have to be amended first.
Senator Ray Lesniak is already suing the federal government to overturn the federal ban on the grounds that it’s un-constitutional. New Jersey was offered a chance at sports betting close to 20 years ago in 1991, they declined, and then a law passed in 1992 prevented any state from adding sports betting, almost to say “too late, you missed your chance”.
Without a doubt these are exciting times in the gaming industry. Financial down-times have forced lawmakers to review nonsensical laws and old practices. Should be interesting to see how far this goes, but as industry professionals have learned in the past, let’s not hold our breath.