New Jersey Congressmen Enter State’s Sports Betting Fight

Two New Jersey Congressman, Frank LoBiondo and Frank Pallone Jr. (l.), have introduced bills that would allow sports betting in New Jersey. One would exempt the state from a federal ban on sports betting and the other would give all states four years to enact their own sports betting laws and be exempted from the federal ban.

Two New Jersey congressmen have introduced legislation to Congress to help their state offer sports betting.

Democrat Frank Pallone Jr. and Republican Frank LoBiondo both have introduced bills, but each uses a different strategy.

Pallone’s bill would exempt New Jersey from a federal ban on sports betting while LoBiondo’s bill would re-open a window for any state that wants to legalize sports betting to do it in the next four years.

The 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, known as PASPA, banned sports wagering except in Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana, which already had forms of sports betting. The bill included a one-year window for New Jersey to pass sports betting and also be grandfathered, but state politics at the time blocked the move.

Since 2009, however, the state has been trying to find a way around the ban, but has consistently lost in federal courts. The state is currently working on its latest appeal, which will be heard in federal appeals court in March.

According to some analysts, there isn’t a strong interest in Congress to address sports betting changes.

In a related matter, the New York Jets have hired the brother of the judge considering New Jersey sports betting appeal as a coach.

The NFL has joined with major sports league’s in opposing the state’s case, but state officials tell the Associated Press they will not ask U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp to remove himself from the case after brother Marcel Shipp’s hiring.