This week, Governor Murphy signed into law New Jersey’s sports wagering law, which will allow New Jersey residents over the age of 21 to place bets on certain sports either at a New Jersey casino, racetrack or online. For decades, wagering on sporting events has taken place under the cloak of darkness, but with the passage of this measure the state can now regulate sports betting and generate revenue from it so residents can bet safely and legally in New Jersey.
The effort to legalize sports gambling in New Jersey dates back to 2011 when voters approved by a 2 to 1 margin a referendum seeking to allow betting on all professional sports, and collegiate games played outside of New Jersey. On May 14, 2018 the State of New Jersey scored a powerful “win” when the United States Supreme Court found a 1992 federal ban on sports betting unconstitutional paving the way for sports wagering to take place in all 50 states.
Even before the Supreme Court handed down its decision, New Jersey’s legislative leaders went to work on drafting – and passing shortly thereafter – legislation to implement sports betting in New Jersey as quickly as possible. All that was needed was Governor Murphy’s signature, which came several days later on the afternoon of June 11, 2018.
From the beginning, Democrats and Republicans agreed that allowing sports wagering in New Jersey was a clear win for the state, racetracks and casinos, all of which will benefit from the influx of revenues from legalized sports betting.
Still, it was a very long road to arrive at this watershed moment for New Jersey and we would like to thank Governor Murphy, the bill’s sponsors including Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, Assemblyman John Burzichelli, Senator Jeff Van Drew and former Senator Raymond Lesniak, as well as and many others for their diligent work on this measure for the past eight years.
Additionally, it was former-Governor Chris Christie who made the initial decision to embark on this historic legal battle in 2011 and see it to fruition during his last year in office while the Supreme Court debated the measure. The joint effort paid off and soon the South Jersey region will be reaping the benefits of sports betting.
As tourism season opens, sports wagering will provide a much need economic boost in New Jersey, generating meaningful tax revenue while supporting local jobs and businesses.
In Atlantic City, sports wagering will add another significant amenity to the City, which will attract both in-state and out-of-state visitors during the major sporting events covered under the bill.
New Jersey’s racetracks will also reap the benefits of sports wagering and will most certainly thrive with the infusion of economic activity that sports gaming will bring.
Legal sports wagering – a new sector of gaming that will help create jobs, generate economic growth and provide an important boost to the casino industry – are ready to be enjoyed now that the legislation has been signed into law.
Thank you again to all of our policymakers involved that helped make this historic moment a reality. Game on!