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Bravissimo! Senator Raymond Lesniak!

(Photo credit – nj.com blogs)

Derek Harper of The Press of Atlantic City reports,

TRENTON – A northern New Jersey lawmaker said he plans a court challenge against the current federal ban on legal sports wagering.

State Sen. Raymond Lesniak, D-Union, said the suit to be filed Monday will challenge the 1992 law on grounds of constitutional fairness and commerce issues.

“There is a whole kitchen sink of constitutional violations in this federal ban,” he said.

The goal is to allow sports betting in states that want it.


The move comes as Delaware Gov. Jack Markell proposed a sports betting lottery system during his budget address Thursday. The state has said the program could raise $55 million.

Regional casino gaming competition has contributed to Atlantic City’s declining revenues.   Atlantic City long enjoyed both a close proximity to large population bases and the distinction of being the lone casino destination in the region.   Now, the competition of slot parlors eliminates Atlantic City’s competitive advantage.  

Sports betting can give Atlantic City a competitive advantage again, depending on whether we beat Delaware to the punch.  

Derek Harper continues his story:

New Jersey lawmakers had sought to challenge the sports betting ban by passing legislation, setting up games and defending itself from the inevitable court challenge.

The Assembly approved a bill – locally sponsored by Assemblymen Nelson Albano and Matthew Milam, D-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic, and John Burzichelli, D-Cumberland, Salem, Gloucester – allowing casino sports wagering in February with voter approval.

But in the Senate, the bill, sponsored by Lesniak and Sen. Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic, has been stalled in the Senate Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee since January 2008, where Chairman Sen. Jim Whelan, D-Atlantic, has not scheduled a vote.

It is sad that Senator Jim Whelan, the Senator representing Atlantic City, is holding-up the legislation that would legalize sports betting.

I wrote a column on the background of legalizing sports betting in Atlantic City.

Sports wagering will take Atlantic City to another echelon and continue its economic growth.
    It is difficult to push back the tentacles of the federal government. History will offer a few laughs for those observing nanny-state New Jersey accusing the federal government of growing too large and intrusive. Some of us here in South Jersey will laugh, too, as we cheer on Trenton to legalize sports wagering in Atlantic City.

I am cheering on Senator Lesniak, while Senator Whelan gets boos and hisses from me on obstructing the legalization of sports betting.


(Photo credit – PolitickerNJ)


About Jesse O. Kurtz

I am committed to fulfilling the promise of Atlantic City. The town would benefit from greater political participation by average citizens. Hopefully, some of the posts herein will encourage you to get more involved in your community. This blog will also feature other topics and subjects beyond Atlantic City. I hope that you will come to love Atlantic City as much, or more than I do.


One thought on “Bravissimo! Senator Raymond Lesniak!

  1. You are wrong this time, Jess. Whelan is right. Sports betting has no chance in hell of getting approved by the legislature even if Lesniak gets a favorable decision in the courts (an enen LONGER shot).

    The big problem is that Lesniak doesn’t know how to the math, so he’d be a terrible sports bettor. In Nevada, with more than 200 casinos that have sports parlors, the activity raised about $7 million in taxes last year. So AC’s 11 casinos can generate somehow $50 million? I sincerely doubt that.

    Whelan and all the other legislators should spend their time trying to pass a bill that would keep casinos open in the face of a state shutdown. Now there’s something the casinos really need!

    Posted by dave202 | March 27, 2009, 9:27 am

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