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.”

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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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