Sportsbook Review's Natalie Rydstrom interviewed New Jersey State Senator and outspoken proponent of sports betting in the state Raymond Lesniak on Wednesday.
Natalie picked Lesniak's brain on the recent reversal of fortune in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, his thoughts on legalized sports betting, and fantasy sports gambling.
Reactions of SBR Community
The SBR Sportsbook forum, a community of online sports bettors and sports fans, had mixed reactions to the interview.
"I'll believe it when I see it," remarked forum admin Shari91, a full-time sports bettor based in Australia.
Forum member TheGuesser, a sports bettor who has posted on the SBR board since 2005, had a different perspective: "This combined with Nevada declaring DFS as gambling and requiring a license are the 2 best bits of news legalized US Sportsbetting has received in a long time. The NFL is scrambling to protect their huge $$$ from DFS, but they are going to have to explain their hypocricy [sic] in championing and profiting from gambling in one case, and wanting to keep it outlawed in the other."
The Giant Hypocritical Elephant In The Room
The hypocrisy TheGuesser touches on is a good point with respect to how major sports leagues, the NFL in particular, are adamantly against sports betting yet fine with splitting the profits with fantasy betting sites. When asked about this subject by Natalie Rydstrom during the SBR interview, Senator Lesniak said "it's a distinction without a difference".
SBR member BIGDAY, a Minnesota businessman and full-time dad, had this to say: "Not going to lie. I might give Atlantic City a chance if they had sports wagering..."
Opponents of sports betting in the United States often conjure up ridiculous extremes when pressed on the subject: Betting will destroy children's lives, wreck American homes, and benefit the mafia. In the United Kingdom, or Australia, or many other advanced places around the universe, sports betting is a liberty enjoyed by many millions of people.
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 ("PASPA")
PASPA presently limits sports betting nationwide with the exception of Nevada, Oregon, Delaware, and Montana. Nevada is the single largest beneficiary under PASPA.
Legalized sports betting would also add considerable economic benefit, the creation of thousands of jobs, and a major advancement in the area of personal liberty. The state of Michigan is also pursuing legal sports betting.
If New Jersey perseveres in the face of archaic legislation, the major sports leagues and NCAA, State Senator Lesniak believes there could be legal sports betting in NJ by March Madness 2016.
Until the US wakes up with the times, many Americans will continue to wager with the best online sportsbooks.