Bill Text: NJ AR41 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced

Bill Title: Urges United States Congress to lift ban on sports wagering.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-01-09 - Introduced, Referred to Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee [AR41 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-AR41-Introduced.html








Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  JOANN DOWNEY

District 11 (Monmouth)


District 11 (Monmouth)






     Urges United States Congress to lift ban on sports wagering.



     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.


An Assembly Resolution urging the United States Congress to lift the federal ban on sports wagering.


Whereas, In 1992, Congress enacted the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which prohibits sports wagering conducted by, or authorized under the law of, any State or other governmental entity; and

Whereas, Under the terms of PASPA, Nevada is the only state that can offer single-game sports wagering, and Nevada's economy has prospered as a result of its sports wagering industry; and

Whereas, According to a study conducted by the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, about $72.5 billion has been legally wagered on sports in Nevada since 1992; and

Whereas, In Nevada, bettors wagered approximately $132.5 million on Super Bowl 50, and Super Bowl weekend generated additional non-gaming revenue, as the game attracted an estimated 296,000 visitors to the Las Vegas area; and

Whereas, While nearly $4 billion is bet on sports legally in Las Vegas annually, as much as $380 billion is wagered illegally through a shadow industry of offshore online betting houses, office pools, and neighborhood bookmakers; and

Whereas, The federal sports wagering ban is not effective in curbing illegal sport gambling, so lifting the ban on sports wagering would allow state gaming enforcement agencies to properly regulate and police this activity; and

Whereas, In November 2011, New Jersey voters overwhelmingly approved a Statewide referendum that provided an exception to the State Constitution's prohibition on gambling to allow wagering on sports; and

Whereas, The State of New Jersey would benefit significantly from an end to the federal ban, as sports wagering at Atlantic City casinos would be subject to taxation, thereby generating more income for the State; and

Whereas, An end to the federal ban on sports wagering would breathe new life into the State's horse racing industry, as Monmouth Park Racetrack was set to open the State's first sportsbook on October 26, 2014, until a federal court issued an injunction barring sports wagering in New Jersey because of PASPA; and

Whereas, The legalization of sports wagering at the State's casinos and racetracks would enhance Atlantic City as a gaming and tourism destination and revitalize New Jersey's horse racing industry; now, therefore,


     Be It Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

     1.    This House respectfully urges the United States Congress to repeal the federal ban on sports wagering.


     2.    Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly to the Speaker and Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, the Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States Senate, and to each member of Congress elected from this State.





     This Assembly resolution urges the United States Congress to lift the federal ban on sports wagering.

     Sports wagering is currently illegal under the "Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act," (28 U.S.C. s.3701 et seq.); although, when the act took effect on January 1, 1993, it grandfathered the states of Nevada, Oregon, Delaware, and Montana, and gave New Jersey one year to enact a law to authorize sports wagering.  New Jersey failed to authorize sports wagering before January 1, 1994 and therefore is subject to PASPA's ban on sports wagering.  Nevada is currently the only state where single-game sports wagering is legal, regulated, policed, and taxed.

     Although sports wagering is illegal under federal law, the prohibition has failed to curb that activity.  It is estimated that Americans wager about $380 billion each year on sports alone, and the legal wagers on sporting events placed in Nevada amount to a miniscule percentage of that total.  By legalizing sports wagering, state gaming enforcement agencies could finally regulate and police this illegal activity, and states could also tax it to generate additional revenue for important programs and initiatives.  The legalization of sports wagering would enhance Atlantic City as a gaming and tourism destination and revitalize New Jersey's horse racing industry.