Finally, after more than eight years of fighting to bring sports betting to the United States, the state of New Jersey has officially been given the green light to begin legalized sports betting. This was done through a bill that was signed by the New Jersey governor Phillip D. Murphy on Monday – the bill specified that the wagering on various sports would begin on Thursday which is perfect timing since the World Cup is also about to kick off.
This makes New Jersey the third state to legalize sports betting and the second to do so after the recent Supreme Court ruling that abolished PASPA.
“Today, we’re finally making the dream of legalized sports betting a reality for New Jersey. I am thrilled to sign Assembly Bill 4111 because it means that our casinos in Atlantic City and our racetracks throughout our state can attract new business and new fans, boosting their own long-term financial prospects,” Governor Murphy said in the statement. “It means that our casinos in Atlantic City and our racetracks throughout our state can attract new business and new fans, boosting their own long-term financial prospects. This is the right move for New Jersey and it will strengthen our economy.”
Ideally, the legalization of sports betting was anticipated to be smoother than it is in other states, but, unfortunately, there was a bit of politicizing that presented a major hurdle for the process. As of now, one of the only remaining impediments is the licensing process and the state and its regulators are trying as much as possible to hasten the process so that sport betting operations can go live as soon as possible.
The New Jersey Racing Commission will be handling the process this time around with an initial meeting, presumably to accept and approve license applications from operators, scheduled for Wednesday. If everything goes as planned, then Monmouth Park will be able to begin accepting sports bets as early as Thursday.
What the Law Entails
The bill that was approved unanimously by both chambers of the state’s legislature will allow casinos and racetracks to accept individual wagers immediately. Operators will also be given the opportunity to expand their reach by applying for licenses for online and mobile sports betting – this process will begin in about four weeks.
Punters can place bets on all professional sports and collegiate games that do not involve teams or venues from New Jersey. The sportsbooks are, however, not allowed to take action on high school games, and Esports or competitive video games. Also, as expected, the law did not include the integrity that the professional sports leagues have been lobbying for.