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New Jersey Calls NFL's Anti-Betting Stance "Hypocritical"

April 6, 2010 (PAP Newswire) – As part of a move to allow sports betting on the Internet, New Jersey lawmakers went on record yesterday calling the NFL “hypocritical” for opposing all forms of sports betting — other than all the forms of betting in which it has a financial stake.

One of America’s biggest roadblocks to fully legalized online gambling, the NFL is also one of the wealthiest and most influential businesses in the U.S. It’s rare that lawmakers go against a commercial giant of the National Football League’s stature. But if online gambling is ever to be made legal (in New Jersey, or elsewhere), the NFL will be part of the equation.

“The league has a contractual relationship with broadcast networks, and they go on and talk about the line — will the Eagles cover the spread against the Giants?” New Jersey state Sen. Jim Whelan (D., Atlantic), was quoted in a report on the hearing by the Associated Press. “There’s a level of hypocrisy that the NFL and other professional leagues bring.”

Not one to resist an opportunity to bring the issue of legalize online gambling to greater media attention, CEO of iMEGA Joseph Brennan weighed in, as well. “It’s everywhere. It’s in full view,” Brennan said, referring to the NFL’s connections to groups that publicize and discuss betting lines.”Just open the sports section today. Look on What’s the spread? It’s 7 for Duke over Butler.”

“Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D., Union), who cosponsored the bill to put the question before voters this fall, was blunt in his response,” the article continues. “’Gambling and the NFL – perfect together,’ he said, adapting the state’s old tourism slogan.”

In order to get Internet betting legalized in the state, New Jersey must first successfully sue the federal government to overturn certain laws forbidding it. And the continuation of those laws are believed to be heavily lobbied for by the NFL.

Click here to read the AP’s original report at the Philadelphia Enquirer.