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New Jersey vs. Pennsylvania in Gambling War

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Jan/14/2010

The state of New Jersey has put the gloves on in its fight with neighboring state, Pennsylvania, to protect its troubled gambling industry. 

This week, Senator Raymond Lesniak introduced a bill that would make most forms of gambling, including sports betting, legal on the Internet for New Jersey citizens. 

The news comes just days after Pennsylvania made it official that they will be allowing legalizes table games, including poker, in the state. Governor Ed Rendell signed the legislation into law today.

New Jersey is already facing stiff competition from its neighbor.  The Sands Resort in Bethlehem, PA, boasts a driving distance from New York (only 82 miles and a fast 90 minutes), Philadelphia (50 miles and 60 minutes), and everywhere in between - closer than Atlantic City from both locations!

"The Sands Bethlehem Resort is closer to all the major population centers of New Jersey than Atlantic City is," said Joe Brennan, Jr. of the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association, which is working closely with Senator Lesniak.

The New Jersey bill would permit wagering at casinos in-person and through an account wagering system using telephone, Internet and other means on the results of professional and collegiate sport or athletic events, subject to voter approval, and amending and supplementing  P.L.1977, c.110 (C.5:12-1 et seq.).

But New Jersey's fiercest opponent won't be Pennsylvania.  The National Football League aggressively went after New Jersey's other neighbor, Delaware, to prevent full menu sports wagering and won (the state can only offer limited parlay bets). 

It is widely believed that incoming Governor, Chris Cristie, will support the sports betting measure and quite possibly the online gambling legislation.

A referendum would have to be presented to voters during the November 2010 elections.

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher 

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