New Jersey bakers in pie contests do not violate state gaming regulations

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Approved by state Assembly, the bill now heads to Governor Christie's desk

TRENTON — The General Assembly today concurred with a Senate amendment and passed legislation sponsored by Republicans John Amodeo and Chris A. Brown that ensures New Jersey residents can legally participate in contests of skill, including cooking and baking contests.

“I don’t think anyone would consider baking a pie for a contest as a long shot, but confusion about New Jersey gambling regulations caused some contest sponsors to be reluctant about permitting our residents to enter,” said Brown. “Now, this legislation gives New Jerseyans a chance to prove they are a slice above the national competition.”

Amodeo and Brown, R-Atlantic, introduced the measure after a constituent, Sally Ball of Atlantic City, was refused entry in the American Pie Council’s annual pie championship.

The bill, A-3624/3525, clarifies that baking and cooking contests and specifically defined contests of skill are not classified as gambling, whether an entry fee is required or not. Now on its way to the Governor’s desk, the bill unanimously passed the Assembly in May, and cleared the Senate with an amendment on December 19.

“This is an example of New Jersey’s over-regulation and bureaucratic red tape,” said Amodeo. “Clearing up this confusion makes our state a little sweeter and paves the way for more prize-winning ‘Jersey Fresh’ pies and cakes.”

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