Thursday January 24, 2008, 4:48 PM The Assembly Tourism and Gaming Committee this afternoon unanimously passed legislation that would ask New Jersey voters to allow sports betting in Atlantic City casinos. But there is no reason to hurry to the gambling mecca to place a bet on the Giants. If the proposal clears the Legislature and gains the approval of voters on the November ballot, sports betting in New Jersey would still face the opposition of the federal government, which oversees an interstate commerce law that prohibits it in the Garden State. Proponents of the idea in the Legislature foresee a legal battle over the federal ban that could take years to settle and could up before the U.S. Supreme Court. Under the proposal, bets could be placed only on professional sports events and only in casino betting parlors. But with horse racing proponents complaining sports betting would be another blow to the financially-struggling industry, Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester), the committee chairman, and a prime sponsor, promised the possibility of allowing sports betting at The Meadowlands, Monmouth Park and Freehold Race Way would be considered as the proposal moves through the Legislature. The proposal, A1909, could be brought up for a vote by the full Assembly as early as Feb. 7. The outlook for the sports betting proposal in the Senate, where it has died twice in the past four years, is unclear. Senate President Richard J. Codey (D-Essex) has expressed concern over what it might do financially to the racing industry. The measure has the support of the 11 casinos but is opposed by the National Football League. Federal law permits sports betting in Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon. It is only done in Nevada, where $76 million in sports bets were placed in 2007.