The expansion of state-licensed, sports betting in New Jersey is gaining some steam after two state representatives, Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ 2nd) and Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ 6th) threw their support on a pair of bills that would roll back the Federal ban on expanded state-licensed sports betting in the state.
The two bills, H.R. 3809, “the New Jersey Betting and Equal Treatment Act of 2012”, and H.R. 3797, “the Sports Gaming Opportunity Act of 2012”, were both proposed to lift the Federal ban on the state with Reps. LoBiondo and Pallone leading the charge in seeking support for the bill. The pair have asked members of the US House of Representatives to follow suit in their support, saying that the passing of the bills would provide New Jersey with “considerable revenues that will benefit the state and provide funding for vital programs.”
According to LoBiondo and Pallone, the two bills carry objectives to “exclude the State of New Jersey from the prohibition on professional and amateur sports betting” (H.R. 3809); and “permit a 4-year period [for] States to enact statutes…[for] wagering schemes involving professional and amateur sports” (H.R.3797).
The two representatives contend that allowing for the bills to pass would carry a significant financial windfall in the billions of dollars for the state. This new revenue source could then be used to further enhance or develop new programs while also funding existing programs that are already in the pipeline.
Joe Brennan Jr., director of IMEGA and a key proponent and driving force of gambling liberty in the state of New Jersey, is seeing the effects of the state’s push for expanded, state-licensed sports betting in other states. “Momentum is building for expanded, state-regulated sports betting in the US,” he said.
“With the success we’ve had in New Jersey, with voters approving sports betting in the November 2011 election by a 2-to-1 margin, lawmakers in Washington DC and elsewhere are taking a greater interest in the role that government can play in legalizing the activity, while protecting the integrity of the games through tight regulation and monitoring.”
Brennan is referring to a number of similar situations in other states, particularly California, who also has a bill – SB1390 – proposed by Sen. Roderick Wright in March that unanimously passed a state Senate committee authorizing in-person Nevada-style sportsbetting at California’s racetracks, card clubs and Indian casinos
Understandably, the move is still far from a slam dunk and a lot wrinkles still need to be ironed out before people start popping the champagne. But with an increasing number of people in office voicing their support, momentum is clearly on the side of those who want to see a roll back on the Federal ban on expanded state-licensed sports betting in New Jersey.
If the bills do get enough support and are passed, it’s safe to say that New Jersey will be benefiting from a new pot of revenue that they can disperse to their state-wide programs.