State Senator at Forefront of Legalized Sports Betting Push Dies Suddenly

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Published on:
Aug/23/2017

New Jersey lawmaker State Senator Jim Whelan died unexpectedly Tuesday at the age of 68. 

Whelan was influential in pushing through legislation that would allow sports betting in the Garden State.  The professional sports leagues, including the National Football League (NFL), have since fought those efforts in the courts.

Whelan (D-Atlantic), who was set to retire in January at the end of his third term in the Senate.

"He gave so much of his life to public service, serving as a teacher, a councilman, as mayor, and for more than a decade in the Legislature fighting for policies to help improve the lives of the residents of the state," said State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester), a fellow south Jersey lawmaker. "He was a man of integrity and honor, and he was a friend to all of us."

The cause of the veteran Democratic lawmaker's death, which was announced on his Facebook page Tuesday night, was not disclosed.

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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