By David Madden

By David Madden

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A South Jersey congressman is ready to propose federal legislation that could pave the way for legalized sports betting in the Garden State once state action on that front clears the legislature and is approved by the Governor, which is expected in early January.

Republican Frank LoBiondo says he is prepared to act on the sentiment of voters last month regarding the ability to legally put down bets on things like pro football and baseball.

“The referendum that we had in November clearly showed a large majority of the residents of New Jersey would favor that,” LoBiondo says.

He has two bills ready to introduce. One would grant an exemption exclusively for New Jersey to the current federal ban that now exists in all but four states, including Delaware. The other would lift the ban altogether. LoBiondo believes the latter is likely to get more support, but he can’t predict just how the whole idea might fare on Capitol Hill. New Jersey is also readying a challenge to the ban in federal court.

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