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Pro Sports Leagues, NCAA Take A Gamble In Suing NJ Over Betting

Lawmaker Said State Wants A Piece Of The Action
Super Bowl XLVI. (credit: Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Super Bowl XLVI. (credit: Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – New Jersey gets taken to court by the four major pro sports leagues and the NCAA over plans to legalize gambling on sports.

The federal lawsuit was filed Tuesday morning in Trenton by the NCAA, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, and the National Hockey League.

WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reports

But the legal action was not a surprise to state lawmakers.

“We invited the lawsuit so that we can get this resolved in court as soon as possible so New Jersey residents can bet on sports just like anyone can go to Las Vegas and do it,” New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak told WCBS 880’s Monica Miller.

New Jersey voters approved an amendment last year legalizing sports betting at casinos and racetracks, and Governor Chris Christie signed it into law back in January.

The NCAA and the four professional sports leagues argue it would violate federal law and threaten the integrity of the sports.

“Our casinos and our racetracks are really hurting and sports betting will bring in hundreds of millions of dollars of revenues and increase tourism,” Lesniak told Miller.

Four other states including Nevada allow gambling on sports. Lesniak said he just wants New Jersey to get a cut of the action.

“During the Final Four weekend and Super Bowl week, Las Vegas is packed and Atlantic City is a ghost town,” Lesniak said.

State sports betting regulations were expected to take effect within the next two months.

Do you think sports gambling should be legal in New Jersey, or do you side with the sports leagues? Sound off in the comments section below.