Lesniak Pushes Forward with Sports Betting Measure

New Jersey sports betting bill heads for House of Assembly

Once again, New Jersey Sen. Ray Lesniak is looking at its bill speedily progress through legislative committees. This time he may hope to a better future for his initiative - the intrastate sports betting bill S-3113, which was signed off by a Senate panel on Dec. 8.

This way, the bill is moving forward to the House for debate and perhaps a vote as early as next week, which leaves room for Lesniak's confidence that he can push the measure through before the holiday break with a Senate vote around December 15.

After that, the bill should find itself on Gov. Chris Christie's desk, and this time it stands a good chance at getting his approval, as he promised to support and exercise the will of the public, expressed at a referendum on Nov. 8.

However, the new bill could bring the state into a confrontation with federal government over the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 which restricts sports betting to selected states.

Still, in Lesniak's opinion, the bill has the potential to generate very significant tax revenues for the state and its troubled gambling centre of Atlantic City. "All the studies we've seen show that of all the hundreds of millions of dollars in wagers this will generate, 70 percent of that will come through the internet,' he said.

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