New Jersey became the second state to legalize sports betting following the US Supreme Court ruling that overturned PASPA.
There was never any doubt New Jersey would go this route, but Gov. Phil Murphy made it official when he added his signature to the NJ sports betting bill that breezed through the state Legislature last week. The bill, A 4111, passed without a single no vote in either chamber.
Today, we’re finally making the dream of legalized sports betting a reality for New Jersey. This is the right move for our state and will strengthen our economy. pic.twitter.com/Dw3AIXnFGY
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) June 11, 2018
But what exactly did Murphy sign into law?
Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of the key components of the bill.
How soon is now?
Now that the law has been passed, New Jersey is wasting no time in joining Nevada and Delaware (which beat New Jersey to the punch by a week) as a legal sports betting state.
Land-based sportsbooks are expected to begin opening on Thursday.
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) June 11, 2018
This news was followed with Borgata Atlantic City announcing it would take bets shortly after Monmouth Park’s ceremonial first bet.
.@BorgataAC confirms it will accept first sports wager at 11 a.m. on Thursday inside the Race & Sports Book, special unnamed guest will place first bet
— David Danzis (@ACPressDanzis) June 13, 2018
Online and mobile products will have to wait a little longer, as there’s a 30-day moratorium on online wagering in the legislation.
“This act shall take effect immediately, except that provisions allowing online or Internet sports wagering shall take effect 30 days thereafter.”
How many sportsbooks are we talking about?
At full capacity, that works out to 39 sportsbooks, which might be overkill for the New Jersey market.
More likely, each facility will have one or maybe two physical sportsbooks and 1-3 online skins.
DGE gets the final call on interstate wagering agreements
New Jersey’s legislation doesn’t have a whole lot of concern when it comes to the 1961 Wire Act.
The new law has a provision that will leave it up to the state Division of Gaming Enforcement to determine if New Jersey is capable of entering into interstate wagering partnerships.
“Notwithstanding any other provision… wagers may be accepted thereunder or pooled with wagers from persons who are not physically present in this state if the division determines that such wagering is not inconsistent with federal law or the law of the jurisdiction, including any foreign nation, in which any such person is located, or such wagering is conducted pursuant to a reciprocal agreement to which the State is a party that is not inconsistent with federal law.”
Money, money, money
New Jersey chose to go with a bifurcated tax rate for land-based and online sports wagering.
The land-based sports betting tax rate is set at 8.5 percent of revenue. The rate jumps to 13 percent for online and mobile wagering.
As is the case with online gaming, casinos will pay an additional 2.5 percent tax on online wagers — 15.5 percent total — as part of the state’s Alternative Reinvestment Tax that is used to promote tourism in Atlantic City.
Tracks are required to pay an additional 1.25 percent of revenue from internet and mobile wagers — 14.25 percent total — to the Alternative Reinvestment Tax fund.
And of course, all legal US sports bets are subject to a federal excise tax of 0.25 percent of handle.
Several no-betting zones
Not surprisingly, licensed books won’t be allowed to take wagers on high school sporting events, not that they were likely to anyway.
College games held in the state of New Jersey, or games that involve a New Jersey college are also prohibited.
Additionally, the law prohibits esports betting.
There’s also a specific exclusion that will apply to just one casino, Golden Nugget. The casino is owned by Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta. As such, it cannot take wagers on any NBA games. That’s several steps beyond the company’s self-imposed policy in Nevada, where Rockets games and wagers are off the board at Golden Nugget.
What’s not in the bill
New Jersey thumbed its nose at the professional sports leagues demands for an integrity fee.
Not surprisingly, there is no provision for an integrity fee in the law.
Thus far, none of the states that have passed legislation legalizing sports betting have included an integrity fee. And it’s a growing list:
- New Jersey
- West Virginia