NJ plan for sports betting at casinos, racetracks gets another federal hearing

 State Sen. Ray Lesniak, D-Union, says he's confident that New Jersey will win its bid to allow sports betting at the state's casino and horse racing tracks now that the full Third Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to rehear its case. (NewsWorks file photo)

State Sen. Ray Lesniak, D-Union, says he's confident that New Jersey will win its bid to allow sports betting at the state's casino and horse racing tracks now that the full Third Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to rehear its case. (NewsWorks file photo)

A federal appeals court has agreed to rehear New Jersey’s sports betting case.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the August decision by a three-judge panel that said allowing New Jersey’s horse race tracks and casinos to offer sports wagering would violate federal law.

Having all 23 of the appeal court judges reconsider the case is a huge victory for the state, said state Sen. Ray Lesniak.

“It has been a long battle for me, but it’s a very important battle because it will breathe life into Atlantic City and into our racetrack industry and bring tourism into Atlantic City, something that it needs very desperately right now,” said Lesniak, D-Union.

Lesniak is optimistic the full court will side with the state.

“I expect that by Super Bowl in February we will have sports betting in Atlantic City and at our race track,” he said Wednesday. “And you will not be able to get a room during the entire week in Atlantic City, so book your rooms early.”

A date for the court to rehear the case has not been set.

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