After Senate approval, NJ Assembly set to vote on allowing sports wagers

A New Jersey Assembly vote on sports wagering is set for Thursday after the state Senate approved the measure Tuesday.

The bill would repeal a state law prohibiting wagers on sporting events.

And it will reinforce the state attorney general’s attempt to lift a federal judge’s injunction blocking the state from moving ahead with plans to allow New Jersey casinos and race tracks to offer that wagering, said sponsor Sen. Ray Lesniak, D-Union.

“As long as the governor signs this law there’s really no need for a motion before Judge [Michael] Shipp,” he said. “Monmouth Racetrack can start taking sports bets and then the leagues, if they want, can go against Monmouth Racetrack — but the state of New Jersey would be out of it.”

Professional sports leagues have opposed expanding sports betting beyond the four states where it’s permitted by federal law.

Supporters say it would be a lifeline for the racetracks and casinos and could help Atlantic City rebound from a rash of casino closings.

Casinos have been reluctant to commit to sports betting until the legal challenges are resolved.

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