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The Associated Press March 9, 2011, 10:55AM ET

Judge tosses suit challenging sports betting ban

A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed by two Democratic legislators who want to legalize sports betting in New Jersey.

The lawsuit filed last year by state Sens. Raymond Lesniak and Stephen Sweeney challenged the federal law that bans sports betting in all but four states.

U.S. District Judge Garrett Brown issued his 19-page opinion on Monday.

It says the senators had no legal standing to bring the suit, in part because New Jersey voters have not weighed in on the issue.

Lesniak promised to refile the lawsuit in November, if voters approve a ballot question that asks if the state should offer sports betting.

He believes legalized sports betting would help revive the Atlantic City casinos, which have been hurt by competition from casinos in neighboring states.

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