N.J. sports-wagering plan jettisons computer, cell-phone betting

The main sponsors of legislation to authorize sports betting in New Jersey say they’ll make some changes to get Gov. Chris Christie to sign it.

To deal with the governor’s concerns, Sen. Ray Lesniak said Tuesday he will drop provisions that would have allowed bettors to place wagers using their computers or cell phones.

He said it can be successful without that.

“It’ll still be a big boost for our casinos and racetracks because people want to go where the action is. They want to have a party. They want see the games. They want to share it with their friends,” Lesniak said. “So it will still be a big tourism boost, but the real revenues that will be generated would be over the Internet.”

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The idea of Internet gambling could be revisited, according to Assemblyman John Burzichelli.

“Rather than bog down the base question of sports betting in New Jersey by debating the second bigger issue of the definition of Internet gaming and where the bet is taking place, that debate is better reserved for separate legislation for a separate day,” he said.

Last month, New Jersey voters approved an amendment to the state’s constitution allowing sports betting. Before that can happen, supporters have to get a federal ban overturned.

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