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Lawmakers approved a landmark bill establishing sports betting in New Jersey casinos and racetracks and sent the measure to Gov. Phil Murphy, who is expected to sign it. Meanwhile, lawmakers advanced bills on workforce development and small businesses as the July 1 state budget deadline is looming.

Legalizing Sports Betting, S-2602 (Sweeney, D-3; Van Drew, D-1)/A-4111 (Houghtaling, D-11; Burzichelli, D-3)

Passed both houses June 7, sent to governor

NJBIA position: support

This bill would authorize and regulate sports gaming in New Jersey by allowing casinos and racetracks to take bets on professional sports competitions and college events that don’t take place in the state or include a New Jersey team. It would also allow licensed “sports pool” operators to accept wagers online.

Lawmakers wanted to move quickly after the state won a Supreme Court challenge.

“New Jersey has led the way on sports betting and we will now capitalize on our decisive Supreme Court victory by putting in place a vibrant sports gaming industry,” Senate President Stephen Sweeney said.

Talent Networks, S-393 (Madden, D-4; Singleton, D-7)

Passed Senate June 7

NJBIA Position: support

The bill would formally establish the Talent Network Program in the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The department currently funds 10 talent networks to develop and distribute information about workforce needs in the state’s key industries and build employer-driven partnerships between businesses, educational institutions and other organizations.

Small Business Month, SJR-27 (Gopal, D-11; Corrado, R-40)

Passed Senate June 7

NJBIA position: support

This resolution would designate May of each year as “Small Business Month” in New Jersey. The governor would annually issue a proclamation calling upon public officials, private organizations, and all citizens and residents of this state to observe the month by patronizing small businesses, as well as engaging in appropriate activities and programs designed to support small businesses across the state.