he legislation would provide for changes in the law to allow sports betting in New Jersey and across the US.
Pallone’s legislation would exempt the state from the current federal ban on sports betting, while LoBiondo’s proposed law would create a four-year window in which all US states could enact laws to allow for sports betting in their respective states.
The state has suffered in recent years from a decline in its gambling market, with last year alone seeing a number of Atlantic City’s casinos shuttering their doors. As reported by iGaming Business earlier this month, New Jersey also saw total gaming win fall to $2.7 billion (€2.4 billion) in 2014, representing a drop of 4.5% on the previous year.
“Increasing competition from neighboring states and the proliferation of off-the-books betting has left Atlantic City’s gaming operations at a disadvantage,” LoBiondo said in a statement issued to the media.
“Sports-betting can help give our famed resort town the boost that it needs to get back on its feet.”
The introduction of the new legislation comes after a US District Court Judge last year blocked New Jersey from launching a legalized sports betting offering despite a bill having been approved by state Governor Chris Christie.
The bill would have allowed state casinos and racetracks to offer sports betting services under the provision that bets are placed on events outside of the state to avoid conflict with federal law. However, Judge Michael Shipp ruled in favour of four major North American sports leagues and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) which opposed it.
The NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB had launched a legal challenge against the bill.
Meanwhile, the American Gaming Association (AGA) has forecast that illegal bets placed on this year’s NFL Super Bowl end-of-season showpiece event could reach $3.8 billion.
The casino industry trade group said that the estimate highlights the need for some form of regulation in order for states to capitalize on the sports betting market.
According to the Bloomberg news agency, AGA president and chief executive officer Geoff Freeman said: “The AGA is closely examining the current state of sports betting, the laws that govern it and the best way forward for the gaming industry.”
Nevada remains the only state in the country in which players can legally place bets on individual sports matches.