WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) – Two New Jersey congressmen are renewing their efforts to allow sports betting in the state.

Democrat Frank Pallone Jr. and Republican Frank LoBiondo introduced bills last week taking two different approaches toward the same goal.

Pallone’s bill would exempt New Jersey from the federal ban on sports betting in 46 states.

LoBiondo’s bill would re-open a window for any state that wants to legalize sports betting to do it in the next four years.

Pallone told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney he hopes the courts rule in favor of his bill, saying he thinks the federal prohibition is unconstitutional.

“The LoBiondo bill, and we’re working together, allows a period of time when any state could opt into it,” Pallone said.

The congressman told Putney it’s hard to say if other states will support the effort just so they could offer sports betting themselves, but Pallone is selling it as a way to legitimize what’s already going on.

“It’s a billion dollar industry, but much of it is illegal,” Pallone said.

New Jersey has been trying since 2009 to offer sports betting, but has repeatedly been rebuffed by courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

Its latest appeal is working its way through the courts.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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