Is Sports Betting Legal in New Jersey?
Congratulations, New Jersey! The first legal sports bet in the state was taken on June 14, 2018 at Monmouth Park Racetrack and it was a bet by Governor Philip Murphy on Germany to win the World Cup at 7/2. He also took the New Jersey Devils to win the Stanley Cup at 40/1. He could have gotten better odds by shopping around!
But, that isn’t the takeaway from the historic events of Flag Day. The quest started by former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is now complete, as the Garden State can legally accept bets at its horse tracks and casinos. The hope is that this will bring some much needed money to Atlantic City, but it will be a very nice windfall for the race tracks as well. New Jersey set the proceedings in motion to get PASPA struck down, so all of us in the industry or all of us with an interest in gambling owe a debt of gratitude to the state.
Representatives across the country have pondered what the strike down of PASPA means for their constituents. Delaware actually beat New Jersey to the sports wagering game as the first state to take a bet post-PASPA, but there was still cause for celebration all around. Other states, like Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Mississippi are moving forward much quicker than states like North Carolina and New Mexico. Some states, like Alaska, Hawaii, and Utah, aren’t moving at all.
At time of writing, Monmouth Park and Borgata were open for business, with other New Jersey properties expected to be ready to go well in advance of football season. It is amazing to think about the winding road that began in 2011 for the state of New Jersey, as the voters approved an amendment to the state constitution to allow legalized sports betting.
New Jersey kept trying despite a few failed bids and plenty of opposition for the leagues, but eventually won out and the United States Supreme Court announced on May 14 that PASPA was unconstitutional because it violated states’ rights. Just about every state has applauded the Supreme Court’s decision to allow them to decide whether or not they want sports betting, but not every state has moved forward. Most, however, have and the belief is that more than 60 percent of states will have sports betting within the next five years.
The law in New Jersey does prohibit betting on NCAA events that take place in New Jersey, per the Politico article linked above, so the system is hardly perfect, but it is something and that is what really matters for people and states who have long wondered why the federal government had control over the issue of legalized sports betting.
Business is up and running, so, yes, sports betting in fact legal in the state of New Jersey.
For a review of Monmouth Park Sportsbook, check out this piece from Henry Li on his experiences at that William Hill book.
Caesars is beginning operations on August 1 and August 2, respectively, at Bally’s Atlantic City and Harrah’s Atlantic City.