Mon. 2 p.m.: Senator predicts New Jersey sports betting win

In this Nov. 30, 2017, photo, a man sits at a cubicle watching a simulcast horse race at the Monmouth Park racetrack in West Long Branch, N.J. With banks of TVs tuned to all-sports stations and a spacious bar, the lounge a the racetrack is a sports gamblers’ paradise-in-waiting. All that’s standing in its way: A 25-year-old federal law that bars betting on sports in most states. The high court is weighing On Dec. 4, whether a federal law that prevents states from authorizing sports betting is constitutional. If the Supreme Court strikes down the law, giving sports betting the go-ahead, dozens of states could quickly make sports betting legal.  (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

In this Nov. 30, 2017, photo, a man sits at a cubicle watching a simulcast horse race at the Monmouth Park racetrack in West Long Branch, N.J. With banks of TVs tuned to all-sports stations and a spacious bar, the lounge a the racetrack is a sports gamblers’ paradise-in-waiting. All that’s standing in its way: A 25-year-old federal law that bars betting on sports in most states. The high court is weighing On Dec. 4, whether a federal law that prevents states from authorizing sports betting is constitutional. If the Supreme Court strikes down the law, giving sports betting the go-ahead, dozens of states could quickly make sports betting legal. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

New Jersey state Sen. Ray Lesniak is predicting that the Supreme Court will hand the state a victory in its yearslong efforts to legalize sports betting.

Lesniak said after listening to today’s arguments in Washington that he thinks the court will rule 7-2 or 6-3 in New Jersey’s favor. The Democratic lawmaker sponsored the bill that legalized sports betting in the state, prompting a lawsuit from the four major U.S. sports leagues and the NCAA that ultimately made its way to the Supreme Court.

Lesniak says the likelihood of a ruling in the state’s favor is “not quite a slam dunk, but it’s about Tiger Woods and a 5-foot putt.”

He says sports gambling will be a “lifeblood” for the struggling casinos in Atlantic City and for New Jersey’s racetracks.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says that if the Supreme Court rules in his state’s favor in a major sports betting case, then sports betting would quickly become available in the state.

The Republican governor was in Washington to hear today’s arguments in the case. Christie said outside court that if the justices rule in New Jersey’s favor, “we could have bets being taken in New Jersey within two weeks of a decision by the court.”

The case pits New Jersey and other states against all four major U.S. professional sports leagues, the NCAA and the federal government.

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