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Wayne Parry / AP

This Feb. 22, 2019, picture exhibits the outside of the Golden Nugget casino in Atlantic Metropolis, N.J. New Jersey lawmakers have launched a invoice that may allow the casino to simply accept sports activities bets on NBA video games that don’t contain the Houston Rockets, which casino proprietor Tilman Fertitta additionally owns. The Golden Nugget is at present prohibited from taking any NBA bets due to Fertitta’s possession of the Rockets.

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — New Jersey lawmakers are contemplating loosening their sports activities betting restrictions to permit the proprietor of the Golden Nugget casino to simply accept bets on most Nationwide Basketball Affiliation groups.

Texas billionaire Tilman Fertitta owns the casino — and in addition owns the NBA’s Houston Rockets.

When New Jersey lawmakers legalized sports activities betting final yr, a provision within the regulation banned workforce homeowners from putting or accepting bets on any video games involving their sport.

It was straight aimed on the Golden Nugget and enacted over protests that Nevada regulators enable Fertitta’s casinos to take bets on professional basketball video games so long as they do not contain the Rockets.

A invoice launched Monday within the New Jersey Legislature would enable workforce homeowners to take bets on video games involving different groups of their leagues, however not their very own.

“New Jersey’s sports activities wagering trade is new and fledgling, but when we take {the handcuffs} off, it might surpass Nevada as the biggest market within the nation inside a couple of years,” mentioned Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, a northern New Jersey Democrat who co-sponsored the invoice. “I do not see the purpose of leaving out a possible vital participant on this new trade if adequate regulation and integrity protections are in place. Nevada has lengthy allowed this identical association.”

Officers with the Golden Nugget and Fertitta’s firm, Landry’s Inc., declined to touch upon the invoice Tuesday.

However casino officers previously have complained that the regulation places them at a big drawback in New Jersey’s burgeoning sports activities betting market as a result of clients are usually not prepared to go to two totally different casinos to position their sports activities bets.

A gambler wanting to position bets on soccer on the Golden Nugget must go elsewhere to bet on basketball, making it a lot much less seemingly she or he would go to the Golden Nugget in any respect for sports activities betting, they argue.

New Jersey gained a U.S. Supreme Court docket case in Could 2018 clearing the way in which for all 50 states to supply sports activities betting ought to they so select.

Because it took its first sports activities bets in June 2018, New Jersey’s casinos and horse racing tracks have taken in near $three billion, second solely to the $5.2 billion Nevada’s sports activities books dealt with over roughly the identical interval.