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U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., a Democrat from the sixth district of New Jersey, in the hope of avoiding an expensive legal battle over whether state residents should be able to place bets on sports, said that he would introduce Monday a bill that would exempt New Jersey from a federal ban on sports betting.
Pallone said that his bill would be effective immediately upon its passage.
With regards to the possibility of the bill getting through the GOP-led Congress, it all remains to be seen. The bill would represent a direct path to allowing sports betting in the state of New Jersey. His measure does not include any other state.
Pallone said, “New Jersey voted for, and deserves a bite of, the apple in terms of sports betting. Any delay in making this possible is a loss of profits for local businesses, which is unacceptable.”
Unlike a legislative measure that is expected to be filed in the state legislature on Thursday, the bill of Pallone does not allow betting on college games.
A non-binding referendum was approved by New Jersey voters Tuesday, indicating that they want sports betting to be legally allowed in their state. However, before that can happen, New Jersey must first pass a law that authorizes it, and a federal ban on sports betting in all except four states must be circumvented or overturned.
State Sen. Raymond Lesniak, a Democrat from Union, is expected to introduce a bill Thursday empowering the state Casino Control Commission to grant sports-betting licenses. He also said that the state attorney general should file a case to overturn the federal ban.