Voters in New Jersey have passed a ballot in New Jersey that could help legalize sports betting in the state. According to the 80% of precincts NJ that have reported their findings, approximately 65% of voters supported the ballot.

However, gamblers eager to start engaging in sports betting will not be able to start betting on sports yet. Under current federal laws, only four states are allowed to engage in sports betting.

The ballot was initiated by State Senator Raymond Lesniak. Lesniak tried to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Promotion Act last year, but was unsuccessful. He believes that if the issue returns to the courts, he will have a better chance of getting it through this time around. The courts may be willing to take voters’ sentiment into consideration.

In his statement to the Star Ledger, Lesniak told reporters that voter support for sports betting was much greater than expected. He believes the results of the ballot will help change the legislation towards sports betting in New Jersey much more quickly.

Lesniak hopes to get the motion to Governor Christie’s desk by the end of the year. Adhering to this deadline could mean casinos will be able to start providing sports betting by the end of 2012.

Joe Brennan from Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Agency is also happy with the outcome. According to Brennan, the movement to push forward with sports betting is long overdue. Brennan believes the referendum is a reminder that the democratic process is sometimes necessary to get things done.

Brennan added that is a little ridiculous that it was necessary to take the movement this far. He argues that the laws outlawing sports betting are unconstitutional in the first place and there should be no reason to take the issue to court at all.

What are your thoughts on the referendum? Share your thoughts in the forums.

Related posts: