To the end that many states are struggling with the poor economy and are fighting to find new ways to pay for their existence and services, New Jersey passed State Resolution No. 19 on January 12, 2010. Resolution 19 instructs its President of the Senate to “take legal action concerning certain federal legislation prohibiting sports betting.”
The federal law prohibits sports betting in all states with the exception of Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana, who were grandfathered in and are permitted to offer sports betting. The State of Nevada is permitted to offer all types of sports betting on all professional and amateur sports games.
At the present time, all states, with the exception of Utah and Hawaii, permit some type of gambling or state lotteries. Hawaii is currently looking at legislation to allow a standalone casino in Waikiki.
State Senator Ray Lesniak of New Jersey claims that the federal law, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), violates the 10th and the 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. He states it: that “It establishes a selective prohibition on sports betting in the U.S.”
Resolution No. 19 declares that the State of New Jersey “would benefit significantly from lifting the federal ban and legalizing sports betting in this state, as increased revenues would be generated and numerous jobs would be created for New Jersey residents as a result of sports betting activities at Atlantic City casinos and New Jersey’s racetracks, further enhancing tourism and economic growth,”
In other gaming news, Nevada is reeling big time from the poor economy. It has an unemployment rate of nearly 23% and the highest mortgage foreclosure rate in the nation. Gaming revenues were down over 20% between 2008 and 2009, with no end in sight at this time.