New Jersey Elections Will Have Impact as Sports Betting on Way to Becoming Legal

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
New Jersey Elections Sports Betting

History was made in New Jersey on Election Day, November 9, 2011 as voters overwhelmingly cast their ballots in favor of legalized sports betting in the Garden State.

Joe Brennan, Jr. of the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association initially believed that just over 50 percent of voters, or around 55 percent would vote in favor of the referendum.  Instead, over 65 percent did so.

“Sports betting in New Jersey is now inevitable,” Brennan told Covers.com late Tuesday, “and the step taken by New Jersey voters is obviously a very important part of the process. [The vote] was actually a little bittersweet because New Jersey residents have always supported sports betting. Now we can move forward. If this vote is not a clear intention of what New Jersey wants, what is?”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced his support for the referendum last week and will meet with key supporters of the measure, including state Sen. Raymond Lesniak, who was easily re-elected on Tuesday.

Both houses of the legislature must pass legislation that would amend state law to allow sports betting in Atlantic City and at the state’s racetracks.  The legislature has previously voted in favor of a similar measure that the Governor declined to sign off on.  Instead, Christie asked that New Jersey voters make the final decision, and they did.

“This sends a strong message to the courts and to the Congress of the United States that it can’t discriminate against the people of New Jersey,” an elated Lesniak told Covers.com Tuesday night after victory was assured.

Legalized sports betting is expected to bring millions of dollars to the state economy as New Jersey will be the only state East of the Mississippi to allow legalized wagering on such events as Sunday NFL, the Super Bowl and March Madness (though gamblers will not be permitted to wager on local Seton Hall and Rutgers games).


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- Ace King, Gambling911.com

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