TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Legislation that would allow sports betting in casinos and racetracks has been advanced by a New Jersey Assembly panel.

Proponents hope the measure will bolster administrative action that would do the same thing.

The Assembly’s Tourism and Gaming committee approved the bill unanimously on Thursday, sending it to the full Assembly. State senators say they plan to introduce a similar bill in that chamber next week.

The legislation comes as legal action heats up over sports gambling.

Gov. Chris Christie’s administration said last month that it would allow sports betting, but also asked a judge for permission to carry it out.

The four major professional sports leagues and the NCAA are fighting against it.

Proponents of sports betting see it as a way to help struggling Atlantic City casinos.

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