TRENTON - Time has run out for New Jersey lawmakers to decide on a referendum to expand casino gambling in the state.

There has been talk recently to bring casinos out of Atlantic City and into northern New Jersey. In order to do that, a change would have to be made to New Jersey's constitution.

In order for the issue to be on the ballot for voting this November, lawmakers would have had to introduce the bill Tuesday.

Legislators must pass a bill by Aug. 3 for the issue to be on November's ballot. Such a provision must sit for 20 days in each chamber after introduction.

Senate President Steve Sweeney says he wants a public discussion on the issue before taking a vote.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.