Lawmaker says odds are good sports betting will come to N.J.

A New Jersey panel will meet Monday to hear testimony about the importance of authorizing sports wagering in the Garden State.

Legalizing sports betting would bring new life to New Jersey’s casinos and racetracks and boost tourism,” said Sen. Ray Lesniak.

“It’s just so wrong that the federal government allows sports betting to take place in Nevada and not in New Jersey,” said Lesniak. “During Super Bowl week and Final Four week, you can’t get a room in Las Vegas–and Atlantic City is barren. We need that tourism. We need that revenue.”

A referendum on the November ballot will ask voters’ approval to amend New Jersey’s Constitution to allow sports wagering.

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If the referendum passes, Lesniak said if he will make more legal efforts to get the federal ban on sports betting in most states overturned.

“Once we get that approval from the voters, and I believe they will support this measure very strongly, we will start sports betting in New Jersey and let the Justice Department try to shut it down,” he said. “We’re very confident that the ban is unconstitutional and it will be thrown out by the courts.”

Lesniak says legalizing sports wagering would generate millions of dollars in revenue that could help revitalize New Jersey’s casinos and racetracks.

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