Under the current law, sports betting can lead to criminal charges. A nonbinding referendum on November ballots in New Jersey would change all that.
If the referendum is approved, many types of sports betting may be legalized in New Jersey, and those who choose to gamble on sporting events would be safe from state criminal charges. Because federal law prohibits many types of sports betting including NFL games, those who place bets on the sporting events may still be taking a gamble of their own with the federal courts – at least until or if the federal ban is lifted like it was in Nevada and three other states.
Polling thus far has indicated that New Jersey citizens support the change. An April poll by the Fairleigh Dickenson University PublicMind found that 53 percent of those polled favored eliminating criminal charges for sports betting. By contrast, only 30 percent of those polled opposed the change.
New polling is set to be released by the organization this week. Pete Wooley, a political scientist working on the poll, stated that — based on the current numbers — he did not anticipate significant changes from the April poll.
The referendum was sent to voters via a bill in the state legislature sponsored by New Jersey State Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union). He has stated that eliminating criminal charges for sports betting would bolster the New Jersey gaming and tourism industries, particularly in Atlantic City, creating a strong source of revenue for the state.
Whether brought under federal or New Jersey law, criminal charges of any kind should never be taken lightly. If you are facing charges for sports betting, talk to an attorney. An experienced legal adviser can help you to avoid or minimize the sometimes serious consequences of a criminal conviction.
Source: Courier Post Online, “N.J. fans put sports betting on the table,” Bob Jordan, Sept. 26, 2011