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New Jersey offers sports betting referendum to voters

Citizens in New Jersey will be asked to vote in a non-binding referendum in November this year, which will seek to legalise sports betting in the Garden State.

This is the latest step towards allowing sports betting, although even if the vote is in favour of the move, no actual bets can be accepted until a federal law which currently limits legal sports betting is repealed or overtuned. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act has been in place since 1992, and banned sports betting in all states expect those that already allowed it in some form. Oregon, Montana and Delaware have offered legal sports betting, which traditionally has been tied to state lotteries or the fantasy games they operate.

New Jersey looks set to follow Nevada in legalizing sports betting, in the hopes of generating $200 million extra revenue

It is estimated that the legalization of sports betting would generate $200 million in extra revenue to Atlantic City casinos, which would in turn allow the city to better compete, grow and invest in the region.

“This November referendum, if passed, would provide an important step in the continuing process towards overturning the federal sports betting ban,” Robert Griffin, president of the association and CEO of Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., said in a statement. “If the referendum is passed and if the federal ban is subsequently overturned, legal sports betting would provide an economic boost for Atlantic City and the entire state of New Jersey.”

The referendum asks whether New Jersey residents want the legislature to amend the state constitution to allow sports betting at Atlantic City casinos, at horse racetracks or on the results of any professional, college, or amateur sport or athletic event.

A Fairleigh Dickenson University PublicMind poll in April found 53 percent of respondents favored legalized sports betting, while 30 percent oppose the measure.

OCA News Editor

Christian Bright is a professional sports commentator with keen interests in football, tennis and horse racing. His experience in the reporting on professional sports makes him a key asset to OCA’s coverage of athletic events and matches.