Nj Senate Passes Sports Betting Bill (update)

By overwhelming majority, just one of 28 against the proposal

The New Jersey State Senate has passed a bill authored by Democratic State Senator Raymond Lesniak, and submitted by Governor Chris Christie's administration, that will partially repeal the prohibition of sports betting by an overwhelming majority of 27-1.

The bill proposes non-State-regulated sports betting be allowed at racetracks and casinos for the first time in two decades.

"This is in the best interests of our state and clearly in the best interests of several important industries that we know are having some challenges at this moment in time," said Senator Jennifer Beck, R-Monmouth.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, said of Tuesday's Senate vote: "It's because we want to get sports betting done."

Running in tandem, professional sports leagues and the NCAA await hearings before U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp scheduled for October 31, 2014 (see previous InfoPowa reports).

Christie requested that Judge Shipp clarify or modify his February 2013 injunction following a Third Circuit appeal court ruling that concluded that nothing under New Jersey law prevents casinos and racetracks from operating a sports pool.

The Assembly is expected to vote on today's (Tuesday) measure on Thursday, following which the bill will be presented to Christie for his signature.

"We'll see whether he's for it or against, since he vetoed this bill before," Sweeney said. "We need to try to get this done. An overwhelming majority of the people voted to support sports betting in the state. We're hoping he doesn't try to play games with it this time around."

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