New Jersey voters have passed a referendum to allow sports betting. A majority of those who voted were in favor of allowing casinos and race tracks the chance to place sporting bets, provided that the federal government repeals laws currently restricting it to just four states.

My problem all along was, without this type of referendum, the lawsuit was bound for failure, said Gov. Chris Christie, who is in favor of allowing sports betting. The Republican governor sees this as an opportunity for the state to boost its economy and to do so legally.

Let's get that economy out from underground. Let's have the people who want to gamble on sports be able to do so legally and let's have the people who benefit from it be the people of New Jersey, not criminal organizations, he said.

Sports betting in the United States is governed by the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. The supporters of the bill are of the opinion that the sports betting industry is to a great degree dominated by illegal bookies and offshore online gambling sites. However, it is hoped that by ensuring a legal alternative the industry will bring in significant income while also remaining well-regulated.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., said he would introduce a bill on Monday, giving the state an exemption from a federal ban on sports betting. He said his bill would take effect immediately upon passage.

New Jersey voted for, and deserves a bite of, the apple in terms of sports betting, said Pallone, Any delay in making this possible is a loss of profits for local businesses, which is unacceptable.