Making the News

Press of Atlantic City

Originally Published:Monday, September 26, 2011

New Jersey Senate prepares state sports betting bill, although federal ban remains in place

By John Froonjian
Press of Atlantic City

Joseph Weinert of Spectrum Gaming Group in Linwood said there is so much gambling available today that the public may not care as much about new gaming proposals. He said the main issue is whether New Jersey sports betting would pass legal muster at the federal level.

“New Jersey can do what it wants, but the federal government will have the final say,” Weinert said. “They gave New Jersey its chance, and New Jersey whiffed.”

If it were allowed, New Jersey would likely compete against sports betting operations in surrounding states and across the nation, Weinert said. But Atlantic City’s advantage could be the ability to attract overnight guests to its large hotels.

He said sports book accounted for only 1.4 percent of total gaming revenue in Nevada for the 12 months ending July 31. But he said sports betting drives nongaming revenue for casinos.

“Guys come down for huge weekends. They pay for hotel rooms, buy drinks, go to shows,” Weinert said. “One way Atlantic City could differentiate itself, it could accommodate those looking for a getaway.”

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