ASSEMBLY, No. 3493

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

211th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED NOVEMBER 8, 2004

 

 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman JEFF VAN DREW

District 1 (Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland)

Assemblyman LOUIS D. GREENWALD

District 6 (Camden)

Assemblyman ALBIO SIRES

District 33 (Hudson)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

    Permits in-person wagering at casinos on results of professional sports events, subject to voter approval.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

    As introduced.

 

(Sponsorship Updated As Of: 1/11/2005)


An Act permitting in-person wagering at casinos on the results of professional sports events, subject to voter approval, and amending and supplementing P.L.1977, c.110 (C.5:12-1 et seq.).

 

    Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

    1. (New section) As used in this act:

    "casino" means a licensed casino or gambling house located in Atlantic City at which casino gambling is conducted pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1977, c.110 (C.5:12-1 et seq.).

    "commission" means the New Jersey Casino Control Commission established pursuant to section 50 of P.L.1977, c.110 (C.5:12-50).

    "operator" means a casino which has elected to operate a sports pool.

    "prohibited sports event" means any sports event for which the participants do not receive compensation for participation, any event in which any participant represents a public or private school or institution of higher education, any amateur or collegiate game or match, any running race or harness race, and any professional wrestling match.

    "sports event" means any game or match except a prohibited sports event.

    "sports pool" means the business of accepting wagers on any sports event by any system or method of wagering other than the pari-mutuel method of wagering.

    "sports wagering lounge" means an area in a licensed casino wherein a sports pool is operated.

 

    2. (New section) a. In addition to casino games permitted pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1977, c.110 (C.5:12-1 et seq.), a casino may operate a sports pool upon the approval of the commission and in accordance with the provisions of this act and applicable regulations promulgated pursuant to this act.

    b. A sports pool shall be operated only in a sports wagering lounge. The lounge shall conform to all requirements concerning square footage, design, equipment, security measures and related matters which the commission shall by regulation prescribe. The space required for the establishment of a lounge shall not reduce the space authorized for casino gaming activities as specified in section 83 of P.L.1977, c.110 (C.5:12-83).

    c. The operator of a sports pool shall establish the odds it will pay on wagers placed on sports events.

    d. An operator shall accept wagers on sports events only from persons physically present in the sports wagering lounge. Wagers on sports events shall not be accepted over the telephone or through electronic means from a person not present in the lounge.

 

    3. (New section) a. All persons engaged directly in wagering-related activities conducted by a casino in a sports wagering lounge shall be licensed as casino employees or casino key employees, as appropriate. All other employees of the casino licensee or of the person or entity conducting the sports pool who are working in the sports wagering lounge shall be licensed or registered in accordance with regulations of the commission.

    b. Each licensed casino which operates a sports pool shall designate one or more casino key employees who shall be responsible for the operation of the sports pool. At least one such casino key employee shall be on the premises whenever sports wagering is conducted.

 

    4. (New section) Except as otherwise provided by this act, the commission shall have authority to regulate sports pools to the same extent that the commission regulates other casino games. The commission shall promulgate regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of this act, including, but not limited to, regulations governing the:

    a. amount of cash reserves to be maintained by operators to cover winning wagers;

    b. acceptance of wagers on a series of sports events;

    c. maximum wagers which may be accepted by an operator from any one patron on any one sports event;

    d. type of wagering tickets which may be used;

    e. method of issuing tickets;

    f. method of accounting to be used by operators;

    g. types of records which shall be kept; and

    h. use of credit and checks by patrons.

 

    5. (New section) Each operator shall, subject to approval by the commission, adopt comprehensive house rules governing sports wagering transactions with its patrons. The rules shall specify the amounts to be paid on winning wagers and the effect of schedule changes. The house rules, together with any other information the commission deems appropriate, shall be conspicuously displayed in the sports wagering lounge and copies shall be made readily available to patrons.

 

    6. Section 24 of P.L.1977, c.110 (C.5:12-24) is amended to read as follows:

    24. "Gross Revenue"--The total of all sums, including checks received by a casino licensee pursuant to section 101 of this act, whether collected or not, actually received by a casino licensee from gaming operations, including operation of a sports pool, less only the total of all sums paid out as winnings to patrons; provided, however, that the cash equivalent value of any merchandise or thing of value included in a jackpot or payout shall not be included in the total of all sums paid out as winnings to patrons for purposes of determining gross revenue. "Gross Revenue" shall not include any amount received by a casino from casino simulcasting pursuant to the "Casino Simulcasting Act," P.L.1992, c.19 (C.5:12-191 et al.).

    For the purposes of this section, any check which is invalid and unenforceable pursuant to subsection f. of section 101 of P.L.1977, c.110 (C.5:12-101) shall be treated as cash received by the casino licensee from gaming operations.

(cf: P.L.2003, c.116, s.14)

 

    7. For the purpose of complying with Article IV, Section VII, paragraph 2 of the State Constitution, this act shall be submitted to the people for their approval or rejection at the next general election to be held 70 or more days following the date of its enactment.

 

    8. This voter referendum shall be submitted to the people in the following manner and form:

    There shall be printed on each official ballot to be used at the general election, the following:

    a. In every municipality in which voting machines are not used, a legend which shall immediately precede the question, as follows:

    If you favor the proposition printed below make a cross (X), plus (+), or check (•) in the square opposite the word "Yes." If you are opposed thereto make a cross (X), plus (+) or check (•) in the square opposite the word "No."

    b. In every municipality the following question:






 

 

AUTHORIZATION FOR LICENSED CASINOS TO CONDUCT WAGERING ON PROFESSIONAL SPORTS EVENTS, UNDER REGULATION BY THE CASINO CONTROL COMMISSION







 

YES

    Shall P.L. , c. (now before the Legislature as this bill) allowing licensed casinos to conduct wagering on professional sports events, under regulation by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, be approved and become operative?


 

 

INTERPRETIVE STATEMENT













 

NO

Voter approval of this question would allow licensed casinos in Atlantic City to conduct in-person wagering on professional sports events, under regulation by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. Sports wagering gross revenue would be subject to the existing 8% casino gross revenue tax, the proceeds of which are dedicated to programs for senior citizens and disabled residents, and the investment alternative tax, which results in the investment of 1.25% of gaming revenue in community and economic development projects across the State.

 

    9. Sections 7 and 8 shall take effect immediately and the remainder of this act shall take effect immediately upon voter approval of this act at the general election.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

    If approved by the voters at a referendum held at the next general election, this bill would allow licensed casinos in Atlantic City to conduct in-person wagering on professional sports events under regulation by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. Wagering on sports events, as defined by this bill, would not include wagering on events in which the participants do not receive compensation for participation or in which any participant represents a public or private school or institution of higher education, any amateur or collegiate game or match, any running horse race or harness horse race, and any professional wrestling match. In order to place a wager on a sports event, the patron would have to be physically located in the sports wagering lounge of the casino.

    Sports wagering gross revenue would be subject to the existing 8% casino gross revenue tax, the proceeds of which are dedicated to programs for senior citizens and disabled residents, and the investment alternative tax, which results in the investment of 1.25% of gaming revenue in community and economic development projects across the State.