Put sports betting in play to ease revenue crunchShould New Jersey fight the federal ban on sports betting?
In tough times, states need to look at every opportunity to raise revenue, and legalizing and regulating sports betting in New Jersey would raise significant funds that are being spent in support of offshore Internet wagering operations and organized crime.
Due to the financial crisis and increased competition, our casinos are suffering, our racetrack industry is struggling and our stateÂs revenues are at historic lows. ThatÂs why I, along with Gov. Jon S. Corzine, other legislators and gaming interest groups, are fighting to overturn the unfair and unconstitutional 1992 federal ban on sports wagering.
The federal ban deprives New Jersey of more than $100 million in yearly revenue, as well as over $500 million of gross income for private gaming operations. These funds could go toward supporting much-needed job growth and economic expansion in the Garden State.
The federal ban is an intrusion on statesÂ rights, and must be considered null and void.
Raymond J. Lesniak (D-Union)
Yes. First of all, the federal law that allows sports betting in Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon, but bans it in the 46 other states, violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. Failing to impose uniform standards throughout the country is grounds alone to fight the federal law.
Second, gaming is an important industry in New Jersey, but increased competition in neighboring states has begun to make deep cuts into the revenue and jobs created by New JerseyÂs 11 casinos and three horse-racing tracks. DelawareÂs decision to accept sports wagers this fall, for the first time in more than 20 years, is only going to make the cut deeper as gamers go elsewhere to play. In order to ensure New Jersey remains a premiere gaming destination, we need to be able to offer the same types of wagers as our neighbors. This can only occur if the unconstitutional federal law banning sports betting in certain states is overturned.
Sean T. Kean (R-Wall Township)