FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 9, 2011
Washington, DC – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. said when it comes to professional sports betting in New Jersey, the voters spoke yesterday and 2:1 voted to allow sports betting at casinos and racetracks. Pallone added that the federal government or any other entity that attempts to block implementation of this vote will not be tolerated.
“New Jersey voted for, and deserves a bite of the apple in terms of sports betting,” said Pallone. “Any delay in making this possible is a loss of profits for local businesses which is unacceptable.”
The threat to implementing the referendum approved by New Jersey voters Tuesday comes in the form of a 1992 law that prohibits any governmental entity from authorizing professional and amateur sports betting and when it was passed exempted four states from the law. The referendum allows the legislature to legalize betting on professional sports at approved locations.
“The law as it stands is unconstitutional and unfairly prohibits New Jersey from benefitting from this billion-dollar industry. We’re not asking to break the rules, rather that everyone play by the same rules,” Pallone added.
Pallone will introduce legislation on Monday that amends the current statute to exclude New Jersey from the prohibition on professional sports gambling and allow only professional sports betting. The legislation would allow a lottery, sweepstakes, or other betting, gambling or scheme to be operated which is exclusively based in New Jersey and which is based on professional sports. The legislation would force these changes to take effect immediately upon enactment.
Under the referendum, sports betting could be approved at the Monmouth Park Racetrack just outside Pallone’s district, potentially attracting hundreds of visitors to the area and thousands in new revenue for the park and surrounding businesses.