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Still no verdict in NJ gambling lawsuit

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, @CatherineH_WFMZ, chawley@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 21 2012 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 21 2012 09:38:26 PM CST

Looking for a bookie? New Jersey might be your answer.

Looking for a bookie? New Jersey might be your answer. The Garden State is battling it out in court to allow sports betting in Atlantic City.

New Jersey gaming regulators are preparing to issue sports betting licenses next month, defying a 20-year-old federal ban that limits the wagering to only four states. That is, unless the court intervenes.

"New Jersey has gambling but can't do sports betting," said NJ Assemblyman Erik Peterson. "We're trying to revise the gambling industry in New Jersey since its lagging with the competition in Pennsylvania and New York."

Governor Chris Christy signed sports betting into law last January, hoping it will be a lifeline to the struggling gaming industries. Legislator Peterson voted for the bill.

"People like to bet on sports," shared Peterson. "They're not into the roulette, they're not into blackjack, they like to bet on sports, gives them an opportunity to do that in a legal fashion."

The four pro leagues and the NCAA sued the Governor in August. The two sides argued in court this week over whether the leagues and the NCAA could show they would suffer harm from sports wagering in the Garden State. They say gambling hurts the integrity and perception of the games.

"I don't think it's gonna be worth possibly effecting the outcomes of games," said Tom Brotzman.

State lawyers argued the leagues have prospered for decades alongside legalized gambling in other states and widespread illegal sports betting.

"I believe they should legalize it," added Scott Falco. "There's gambling all around you, can't do anything about it obviously it's gonna happen one way or another so why not the Garden State should get a share of the profits."

"Sports betting is something I feel would give New Jersey and edge to bring people to the state," said Bill Figured.

A decision was supposed to come down Friday on this issue, but it never happened.