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Lesniak To Strip Online Gambling Out Of Sports Betting Bill

Senator Raymond Lesniak has already had a gambling debate with Governor Chris Christie in New Jersey that the senator did not win. This time around, Lesniak is hoping to craft a bill that will be to the liking of Christie, and one that the governor will not veto.

Sen. Lesniak is authoring the bill that will legalize sports betting in New Jersey. Voters in the state approved sports betting in the last election, and now lawmakers are facing the task of creating a bill that is strong enough to hold up under federal scrutiny.

Originally, Lesniak, who is a proponent of online gambling, would have allowed bettors to place their wagers from their home computers or cell phones. After considering the issue, however, Lesniak feels it is in the best interest of passing the bill to strip the legislation of the online and mobile gambling authorization.

"I am willing to not include it in the bill, only because I want to get into court as soon as possible to have the federal law declared unconstitutional," Lesniak told The Associated Press.

Lesniak has been arguing that the federal law banning sports betting is unconstitutional. Up until now, the senator has not been able to produce a bill that could challenge the federal law. With voters approving sports betting, Lesniak now wants to create the bill quickly, and then turn it over to the US court system.

Lesniak has previously attempted to attack the federal law through a lawsuit. The suit was thrown out of court, but the senator feels this time he will have much more success with lawmakers in New Jersey behind him. Governor Christie steered clear of controversy earlier this year when he vetoed Lesniak's online gambling bill that passed in New Jersey.

Christie has said he would work with lawmakers on making sports betting a reality if voters approved the measure. Now, the governor will again face criticism and pressure from members of his Conservative Party if he signs the sports betting bill. Christie laid the foundation for vetoing the bill on Monday when he claimed to have concerns about how the current bill was being crafted. That proclamation persuaded Lesniak to drop the online and mobile gaming language.

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