BURZICHELLI, CAPUTO, WAGNER & MORIARTY HAIL EFFORT TO CHANGE FEDERAL LAW & BRING SPORTS GAMING TO N.J.

Assembly Democrats John Burzichelli, Connie Wagner, Ralph Caputo and Paul Moriarty on Monday hailed efforts by U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone to bring sports betting to New Jersey.

Pallone (D-7th Congressional District) on Monday announced at a State House news conference that he will introduce legislation to open sports betting to New Jersey. The bill will exclude New Jersey from the federal prohibition on professional and amateur sports gambling.

Federal law limits sports gaming to Delaware, Nevada, Oregon and Montana, but New Jersey voters in November approved a constitutional amendment to implement sports gaming at Atlantic City casinos and horse racing tracks in the state, if and when the federal law is overturned.

Burzichelli, Caputo, Wagner and Moriarty sponsored a bill (A-4385 from the 2010-11 legislative session) signed into law last week that would allow casinos in Atlantic City and racetracks to conduct wagering on professional and collegiate sports, if the federal law is overturned.

“This is a great step in the right direction toward putting an end to this federal law that essentially promotes illegal sports betting for the benefit of bookies and organized crime,” said Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland), who attended the news conference. “Well-regulated sports gaming can help our state’s casinos and racetracks – and thus our overall economy. That’s why we support this effort and will do what we can to help move it forward.”

“New Jersey voters made clear that they overwhelmingly support sports gaming, so we appreciate the effort to get this done,” said Caputo (D-Essex). “We sponsored the state bill because we know our casinos and racetracks in particular face tough competition from neighboring states, and we need to stay competitive and modern and ensure our gaming industry continues to create jobs and economic growth. Federal law unfairly stands in the way, but that may be on the road to changing.”

“Super Bowl Sunday is coming soon, and Las Vegas will be bustling with the type of activity our casinos and racetracks can only, as of now, dream about,” said Wagner (D-Bergen). “This federal law unfairly favors a handful of states and stifles the future growth of our gaming industry. That must change and we lend our support and appreciate this effort to change it.”

“Sports fans put billions of dollars on the line every year, regardless of its legality,” said Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden). “A legal sports book at casinos and racetracks would ensure bettors are not fleeced or put in harm’s way, while also creating jobs and boosting our economy. This federal law is unjust, and we support trying to change it so New Jersey can keep an edge in the increasingly competitive gaming industry.”