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(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Tim Eustace to bring an end to an archaic state law that bars New Jersey residents from participating in contests of skill was approved by a Senate panel on Monday.
The bill (A-3624) provides that participation by a New Jersey resident in a contest of skill in which a participant pays an entry fee for the opportunity to win money or something else of value is not considered a game of chance, does not constitute unlawful gambling and will not subject the participant or the sponsor of the contest to any civil or criminal liability.
"This addresses the reluctance of some contest sponsors to accept entries from New Jersey residents because of their belief doing so would violate New Jersey's gambling laws," said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic). "As it stands now, New Jersey residents are barred from participating in anything even as simple as a baking or photography contest. The confusion on this point is apparently the result of a misinterpretation of New Jersey case law that addresses gambling, so let's clear this up and bring some common sense."
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"When you're asked to cast a vote on a bill and it seems innocuous, and it's got a hidden land mine that perhaps only an expert would see, it would sort of behoove those experts to tell us in advance rather than make us look, shall we say, a little bit indecisive later on." - Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R-25).- NJTV
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