NJ Senate Committee Moves Sports Wagering Effort

Published: December 11, 2008 04:10 pm EST

According to the New Jersey SBOA, the first legislative step in an effort to bring sports wagering to New Jersey racetracks and Atlantic City casinos moved forward December 11 when the State Senate Committee on Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation unanimously voted to release a resolution urging the U.S. Congress to lift a ban imposed in 1992.

Leon Zimmerman, legislative lobbyist for the New Jersey SBOA, testified in favour of the resolution, noting that the effort to lift the congressional ban on sports wagering was important to provide additional revenue to the horse racing industry.

“The racing industry will be better equipped to survive if it has another form of wagering available under its roof,” Zimmerman told the committee. “Revenues produced through sports betting at racetracks would benefit the state, racetracks and purses for horsemen competing at the tracks.”

He said the SBOA of New Jersey commends the resolution sponsor, state senator Raymond Lesniak (D-District 20), for his leadership in seeking to overturn the congressional ban that exempted only four of the nation’s 50 states. Lesniak has also said that in addition to seeking congressional action, there may have to be a constitutional lawsuit to overturn the ban.

Zimmerman also testified that there are reports that Delaware, one of the four states not subject to the ban, is moving to implement sports wagering next year. He said that would not only negatively impact Atlantic City casinos but also New Jersey horse racing because it could provide more purse money for Delaware racing leaving New Jersey’s purses further behind.

The resolution is expected to be scheduled for a floor vote in the State Senate.

(With files from the NJ SBOA)

Have something to say about this? Log in or create an account to post a comment.