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    Default N.J. Legislature could bypass voters with online poker bill

    A Seton Hall University Law professor testified Monday that the New Jersey Legislature could pass a bill regulating online poker without putting the bill to voters in a ballot question in November.

    From The Record (Bergen County):

    John B. Wefing, a Seton Hall University Law Professor since 1968, testified before the Wagering and Tourism Committee that such a bill would not violate the state constitution’s provision that Atlantic City have a gaming monopoly, because any online poker bet would not be completed until a server in Atlantic City accepted the wager. State voters in 1976 approved a ballot question that gave Atlantic City that unique status on gambling, aside from horse racing and the state lottery.

    Wefing said that the law memorializing that decision was “broad” in terms of what sort of gambling would be permitted. He also said that the clear intent of the legislation was to help Atlantic City recover economically — the same intent he noted that has been declared by legislators who back online poker.

    The hearing was for “discussion only” rather than a precursor for a vote at the end of the session. Assemblyman John Burzichelli, D-Gloucester, said that the committee would “digest” various opinions, such as Wefing’s, then decide whether to present a bill that does not require a referendum in November.

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    Sports betting in NJ controlled by AC casinos has been long overdue.
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