Six days after Delaware became the first state in the country to take advantage of the Supreme Court’s overturning the federal ban on sports betting, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law regulating the activity in the Garden State. New Jersey was the plaintiff in the landmark case that reached the high court regarding the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992.
The court ruled the legislation unconstitutional, opening the door for states other than Nevada to offer legalized sports betting. Delaware was also partially exempt from PASPA, though was limited to NFL parlay cards through the state lottery.
Despite having Atlantic City in its state, New Jersey was outlawed from offering sports betting until the High Court’s 6-3 ruling on May 14. Murphy said in a statement that it will be a boon to his constituents.
“Today, we’re finally making the dream of legalized sports betting a reality for New Jersey,” Murphy said. “It will 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.”
Patience Pays Off
It was expected New Jersey would have a law in place so when the Supreme Court ruled, they would be able to act quickly. Lawmakers, however, wanted to make sure they had a solid piece of legislation and the bill was in committee longer than anticipated.
It was brought to a vote on Thursday and passed quickly and decisively. The Assembly voted 64-3 in favor. The Senate than approved its version, 37-0. The hope was that Murphy would sign the bill before the weekend, but he waited until Monday.
It ended a seven-year fight with professional sports and the NCAA to overturn PASPA, that cost New Jersey taxpayers $9 million. State Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Essex) was a sponsor of one of the bills and told NJ.com it was satisfying to see the end of a long legal battle.
“It’s history in the making,” Caputo said. “This is one of those moments when you’re pleased you serve as an elected official. This is in an instance where you provide something that’s good for the public, that’s good for the citizens, that cleans up an industry that needs to be changed, and hopefully helps New Jersey’s economy.”
Racetracks Ready to Play
Monmouth Park Racetrack is ready for Thursday at 10:30 am when the state will allow the first sports wagers to be placed. The facility has an exclusive deal with William Hill to offer sports betting.
Atlantic City is gearing up for what officials hope is an increase in tourism related to sports wagering. On the Borgata Twitter account someone posted that the casino is ready for customers.
“Borgata is pleased Governor signed NJ Sports Wagering legislation & we are moving ahead with all possible speed to begin accepting legal sports bets as soon as required regulatory approvals are in place,” the post read.
The other eight casinos on the boardwalk have expressed interest in the revenue stream but will not be operational by Thursday. Officials at the Golden Nugget hope to have their sportsbook operational by the start of the NFL season in September.