|New Jersey legislators added to America's plethora of confusing gambling laws this week by proposing a bill that would legalise betting on professional sporting events at Atlantic City licensed land casinos.|
New Jersey Assemblymen Nelson Albano, Louis Greenwald, John Burzichelli, and Paul Moriarty sponsored the proposal to pave the way for casinos in the seaside resort to take bets and the bill has cleared its first hurdle by passing through the General Assembly by 58 to 17 votes with one abstention.
'There are multiple dividends for New Jersey if sports gambling were to be provided at Atlantic City's casinos,' said Albano.
'Atlantic City's casinos again lost out as bettors flocked to Las Vegas this year and we need to ensure Atlantic City stays on the cutting-edge and has a competitive advantage against the new wave of gambling offerings in other states.'
The sponsors said Bill A1909 would help Atlantic City's casinos weather mounting competition from other states.
'Ever since its inception, Atlantic City's casinos have scored big for taxpayers, senior citizens and residents with disabilities,' said Greenwald.
'Now, aggressive marketing campaigns from out-of-state gaming interests have become a real and present danger to Atlantic City. With one of the state's most important industries in the crosshairs, it is imperative that we seize this unique opportunity.'
The lawmakers said the availability of legalised sportsbetting also would counteract illegal sports wagering enterprises that help finance criminal activities in the state.
'Sports fans put billions of dollars on the line every year regardless of its legality,' said Moriarty.
'A legal Atlantic City-based sportsbook would ensure bettors are not fleeced or put in harm's way.'
The measure would allow New Jersey voters to decide whether the state should permit sports betting and could appear on an election ballot as early as November.