PASPA Died A Year Ago, So New Jersey Celebrates With A DraftKings Party

Posted By Bart Shirley on May 14, 2019

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the US Supreme Court’s dismissal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

With everything that has happened since then, New Jersey sports betting has quite the cause for celebration.

New Jersey wins and the fall of PASPA

PASPA was a 1992 law that mostly banned sports betting in the country. The only exempted activities was sports betting in Nevada and a few selected games in other states.

However, New Jersey chafed under the prohibition. The state tried multiple times to launch legal sports betting.

After the Garden State was precluded from exercising its own legalization of sports betting, then-Gov. Chris Christie sued the federal government on behalf of the state.

The case eventually made its way to SCOTUS, where the aforementioned ruling occurred. Since then, no state has been more active in its pursuit of legal sports betting than New Jersey.

What kind of year has it been for NJ sports betting?

The distance to launching the first Garden State sportsbook was quite short. Sports betting officially began on June 14 last year when Gov. Phil Murphy placed the first bet at Monmouth Park.

The year since PASPA’s demise has seen the birth of an industry with revenues north of $150 million. Residents and visitors to New Jersey have wagered more than $2.2 billion on sporting events since June 2018.

Monmouth Park was the first retail sportsbook to accept wagers in the state but is far from the only in-state location with a sportsbook. In fact, there are now 10 active sportsbooks functioning in New Jersey. Atlantic City is home to eight of them.

However, the bigger story about the development of sports betting in New Jersey has been the explosion of sports betting apps. At this point, roughly 75% of sports bets in the Garden State occur on mobile devices.

That 75% is spread across 13 online sportsbooks. A 14th, Borgata Sports, should be open for business by the time you read this article.

DraftKings celebrates the anniversary

However, the grizzled veteran of New Jersey online sportsbooks is DraftKings Sportsbook. The company in black-and-green surprised many when it was the first online site to launch in August 2018.

As such, it became the first sportsbook app outside of Nevada.

Since then, DraftKings has remained at or near the top of the heap for New Jersey online sports betting. A crowded market like New Jersey’s often means operators have to be one step ahead of the game.

So, it is fitting that DraftKings is offering quite the celebration for the PASPA anniversary.

DraftKings online sportsbook has designated May 14 as Free to Bet Day in recognition of the historic court victory. The site is giving away $514,000 in prizes throughout the day.

Those prizes include a free $5.14 bet for each customer and hourly odds boost giveaways.

Happy anniversary, New Jersey.

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Bart Shirley

Bart Shirley is a writer and poker player from Houston, Texas. When he's not teaching high school math and business, Bart writes about the NJ online casino industry and US online poker. He has a master's degree in business administration from Texas Christian University and a degree in English from Texas A&M.

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