Friday, February 5, 2010


This Monday, committees in the State Senate and the General Assembly will consider legislation that would allow sports betting at Atlantic City's casinos and at race tracks in New Jersey.

State Senator Ray Lesniak, who sponsors the measure in the Upper House has also filed a lawsuit on behalf of the State of New Jersey, the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association, The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, The Thoroughbred Breeders Association of New Jersey and the Standardbred Breeder & Owners Association of New Jersey to declare unconstitutional a law passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by the President of the United States of America on October 28, 1992.

When it was instituted in 1993, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, under the auspices of preserving the integrity of sports, banned sports betting in nearly every state in the nation. States that had casino gambling already in place were given a one-year window in which to pass legislation authorizing legal sports betting and be grandfathered in under the law. New Jersey's leaders at the time opted not to take part, and as a result, only four states - Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana - can maintain legal sports wagering within their borders.

Would sports betting help reverse the dismal revenue picture in Atlantic City? Even those opposed to the idea feel it would, but Atlantic City could help itself too.

Last year the Atlantic City Vistors and Convention Bureau spent $5.2 million on salaries and benefits and $3.7 million on advertising for Atlantic City. Las Vegas spends roughly $100 million a year to promote its city. Might this disparity contribute to the fact that Atlantic City is not considered by many to be a resort destination? It's a safe bet.


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Couldn't hurt. Reenues being lost to NY and PA might be recouped.

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