Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-6th.) said Wednesday he will introduce legislation in Congress on Monday that would lift the federal ban on professional sports betting at Atlantic City casinos and New Jersey racetracks.
“New Jersey voted for, and deserves a bite of the apple in terms of sports betting,” Pallone said the day after voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum that shows public support for legalized betting. “Any delay in making this possible is a loss of profits for local businesses which is unacceptable.”
The federal government presently bans sports betting in New Jersey and a lawsuit has been filed to overturn it.
“The law as it stands is unconstitutional and unfairly prohibits New Jersey from benefiting from this billion-dollar industry,” Pallone said. “We’re not asking to break the rules, rather that everyone play by the same rules.”
Pallone said his legislation would amend the current law to exclude New Jersey from the federal ban. His proposal would allow a lottery, sweepstakes, or other betting, gambling or scheme to be operated which is exclusively based in New Jersey and which is based on professional sports. The legislation would force these changes to take effect immediately upon enactment.
Under the referendum, sports betting could be approved at the Monmouth Park Racetrack just outside Pallone’s district, potentially attracting hundreds of visitors to the area and thousands in new revenue for the park and surrounding businesses.