NJ Sports Betting Ready To Go Live As Gov. Murphy Signs Bill Into Law

phil murphy nj sports betting

This is a developing story and will be updated.

New Jersey sports betting is officially legal and regulated in the state.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed sports betting legislation into law on Monday, bringing to a close a frenzied effort in NJ to legalize and regulation single-game wagering in the past week. The legislature had passed the bill unanimously in both chambers on Thursday, June 7.

“Today, we’re finally making the dream of legalized sports betting a reality for New Jersey,” said Murphy. “I’m 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. This is the right move for New Jersey and it will strengthen our economy.”

The law will allow for wagering at the state’s casinos and racetracks, with mobile wagering likely to follow by summer.

NJ joins the crowd

The state has been moving quickly to pass a law in the wake of a May 14 decision from the US Supreme Court that struck down the federal ban on wagering outside of Nevada.

Delaware became the first state other than Nevada to offer single-game wagers last week. New Jersey will beat a number of other states working on their own sports betting plans around the country.

When will NJ sports betting commence?

It appears that the first wagers will be taken on Thursday, at least at one venue in the state.

This came from Murphy’s office:

On Wednesday June 13th, the New Jersey Racing Commission will hold a meeting to review regulations related to the establishment of sports betting at New Jersey racetracks. Following the Racing Commission adopting regulations, the Governor will be able to ratify the Racing Commission’s decision and licensed racetracks will then be able to apply for a temporary waiver to commence sports betting.

Monmouth Park apparently plans to start taking wagers a day later, on Thursday:

The racing commission had planned to meet to consider those regulations on Monday but canceled when the bill was not yet law.

Where will you be able to bet sports in New Jersey?

Off the bat, it appears that only Monmouth will go live this week.

The next play to go live might be Borgata in Atlantic City. That casino already has a racebook with plans to quickly convert it to allow sports betting. Borgata is owned by MGM Resorts International.

After that, it’s up in the air. There are two other racetracks and six other active casinos in the state that have not offered definitive plans for sports betting. Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino are both expected to open later this month, bringing the number of active casinos in the state to nine.

The law has a provision that online sports betting cannot take place until 30 days after the law takes effect. So those anxious to get a bet down via their phones or computers will have to wait a bit longer.

What’s in the NJ sports betting law?

Here is a look at some of the major provisions in the bill:

  • Wagering can be done via both casinos and racetracks in the state, who may also operate mobile wagering.
  • The minimum age for betting is 21.
  • The bill says people directly involved with sporting events — such as athletes and referees — are prohibited from placing bets in their respective sports.
  • Sportsbooks in the state cannot take wagers “on high school sporting events or collegiate athletic events taking place in New Jersey or involving New Jersey teams.”
  • The NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement and the NJ Racing Commission are empowered to issue emergency regulations for a period of up to 270 days to govern sports betting.

There are no integrity fees or other measures that pro sports leagues have asked for in New Jersey or in other states.

Land-based sports betting will be taxed at a rate of 8.5 percent, while online and mobile will be taxed at 13 percent. Murphy’s office used an earlier estimate that tax revenues “are projected at approximately $13 million in the first full year of operation.”

Murphy finally signs sports betting bill

Many in the state had hoped Murphy would immediately give his blessing to sports betting in the state after the NJ Legislature acted decisively on Thursday.

But Murphy kept his pen in his pocket over the weekend, opting to play a waiting game and take a look at the legislation over the weekend.

Murphy had not guaranteed a date for action on the bill, but it came suddenly on Monday with little warning.

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Dustin Gouker

About

Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner. He has played poker recreationally for his entire adult life and has written about online poker and the online gambling industry since 2008.