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A novel method of betting on horse racing which is being proposed in New Jersey is said to be illegal under American Federal Law. This was revealed by State Sen. Ray Lesniak on Thursday although he added that he is still supporting the passage of a bill about exchange wagering.
Exchange wagering is a variation of the traditional parimutuel wagering in which the odds are often determined by the combined opinions of the bettors on each horse. With exchange wagering, the bettors are pitted against another bettor who expected an opposite outcome.
Advocates of horse racing and the British company BetFar, have been lobbying for several months to enable New Jersey to be the first state that will bring the new betting method to the United States.
In a statement made by Lesniak, he said, “We’re not going to back down — we’re going to move forward and make sure that the horse racing industry survives and that Atlantic City gets a boost as well.” Lesniak also added, “It’s clear that Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) is rearing its ugly head again.”
As this developed, an activist for a special interest group, Barbara DeMarco said that her group were able to secure a legal opinion that declares the legality of exchange wagering. She also noted that California was able to pass an exchange wagering bill into law only recently and will allow the commencement of the betting method in 2012. As DeMarco remarked “so the precedent has already been set.”
Governor Christie’s adviser on horse racing and casino issues, Jon Hanson, said last week that the exchange wagering bill may be approved by the administration for as long as “…it is permitted under the law.”