New Jersey has already spent nearly $2.5 million on attorneys' fees in its fight to legalize sports betting at casinos and racetracks in the Garden State. That figure has some critics balking, but the influential state lawmaker who has been spearheading the sports wagering effort calls the expenditure an investment.

"The return is going to be 1,000-to-1 and more," said state Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-Union). "The return when we win is, jobs are thousands and the revenues are billions."

New Jersey has a right to legalize sports wagering, according to Lesniak. He said the Garden State has the same right to enjoy sports betting -- and the revenue and job production from it -- as Nevada does.

"We're fighting for not only what's right for New Jersey, what's good for New Jersey, but if we win this fight it's going to pay off huge dividends for the this state," the senator said. "In terms of job production and impact on the economy and tourism in New Jersey, it's priceless."

Those critical of the amount the lawsuit is costing believe the money would be more wisely spent if it was used to fund important state programs or to help balance the state budget.