Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) and Congressman Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02) announced today that they are joining together in one concerted effort to expand sports gaming to New Jersey. A statewide ballot measure to amend New Jersey's state constitution to allow sports gaming was overwhelmingly supported by New Jersey citizens by a 2-1 margin.
Both Congressmen Pallone and LoBiondo have separate bills to allow sports betting, but are working together in a bipartisan effort to gather support to bring sports betting to New Jersey. The Congressmen issued a letter to Members of the New Jersey Congressional Delegation asking them to support and co-sponsor both bills. In the letter, Pallone and LoBiondo state that their bills represent different, but equally effective pathways of bringing sports gaming, and its associated revenue potentially amounting to billions, to the state.
The federal ban on professional and amateur sports betting enacted in 1992 currently prohibits states from implementing any new form of sports gaming. The Congressmen introduced two bills that that would provide for changes in the law that would allow sports gaming in New Jersey. H.R. 3081 would exempt New Jersey from current federal law and H.R. 3797, opens a window in which all states can enact a law providing for sports gambling in their state until January 1, 2016.
"Sports betting is widely supported in the state of New Jersey, but federal law stands in the way of considerable revenues that will undoubtedly benefit the state," said Pallone. "Both of these bills will enable us to bring sports betting to the state, and I look forward to working with my New Jersey colleagues to achieve this goal."
"New Jersey has been clear about its intent to host sports-betting. Legalizing sports-betting would strengthen Atlantic City in the face of stiff competition, giving it an additional edge to attract visitors and critical tourism dollars," said LoBiondo. "I appreciate Congressman Pallone's partnership in gathering support for our effort to bring sports-betting to our state."
In November 2011, New Jersey voters supported a ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to allow sports gaming at casinos and racetracks by an almost 2-1 margin. The state of New Jersey subsequently passed and the Governor signed legal sports betting into law, but federal law still prohibits sports betting in the state.