The fight to make sports betting in New Jersey legal took over 10 years to finally come to an end. The battle saw the state of New Jersey at loggerheads with five of the largest sports organizations in the world – NFL, NBA, NCAA, NHL, and MLB.
The state of New Jersey believed that sports betting should be a matter of states’ rights under the Tenth Amendment, while the leagues fought against it by citing the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) to prohibit state-regulated sports betting.
New Jersey passed the bill in 2012, but the leagues filed an injunction almost immediately. This battle continued until the state took an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).
Then, on May 14, 2018, the state of New Jersey got the answer they had been hoping for. The Supreme Court of the United States decided in favor of the state of New Jersey with a 6-3 majority decision.
Less than four weeks later, Gov. Phil Murphy signed an updated New Jersey sports betting bill on June 11 that finally made sports betting in NJ legal.
After that bill had been officially passed this allowed betting on sports to become legal and companies decided to take full advantage.
In August 2018, DraftKings Sportsbook became the first online betting sports site to be launched in New Jersey. At the time of writing, over 15 online sites are in operation throughout New Jersey.
Murphy vs. NCAA
Driven by the opinion in the landmark sports betting case, Murphy vs. NCAA in May of 2018, New Jersey has now become a hotbed of sports gambling action. New Jersey has long been a pillar of American gambling, but the Atlantic City casinos were obviously struggling to stay afloat in recent years due to a myriad of reasons.
The legalization of sports betting has revitalized the gambling market in the state, with record revenues already being realized in the first year of sports wagering operations.
Betting online has proven to be very popular. Over 70% of all sports betting now takes place online and the handle is growing every month to new records heights. With more sportsbooks entering New Jersey this is just the beginning of online sports gambling .
It is currently legal to gamble in New Jersey. Types of gambling currently permitted in New Jersey include table games, sports betting, online casino, horse racing, off-track betting, lotteries, as well as social and charity gambling. Legal, in-state online sports betting was introduced in New Jersey in 2013.
Any NJ online sporstbook operator must apply within the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. There is also a filing fee that must be paid.
Gaming related CSIE’s and their key personnel/qualifiers must demonstrate good character, honesty, and integrity as well as financial stability, integrity, and responsibility. Qualifiers must not have engaged in any conduct that is prohibited by Section 86 of the Casino Control Act.”
The NJDGE website says
Gambling in New Jersey has roots back to the late 1800s, with lotteries and racetracks being very popular over the years. In the late 1970s, casino gambling was approved in Atlantic City, also known as “Monopoly City”, notoriously the inspiration for the ever-popular board game.
Casinos flourished on the Atlantic City strip throughout the late 1900s, and while recent challenges have been seen by the city, there is renewed hope for the future of Atlantic City with the recent passage of sports betting legalization.
Future of sports betting in NJ
The future is very bright in New Jersey for gambling, specifically sports gambling. Many who track this market believe that the digital realm is where the market will truly thrive in the near future.
This is a great conduit for live/in-game wagering, which is widely believed to be the future of NJ sports betting. Combining the excitement with the ability to wager on what is unfolding in front of you either while at a sporting event or on your couch, with instant payouts, is a very enticing product.
Following the European market trends, they are roughly 70% live betting, and 30% pre-game betting – the U.S. market is currently inverse. New Jersey installing legislation to allow online/mobile sports betting is a large win for consumers, as other states have not been as forward-looking.
Other states not including mobile wagering in their legislation are largely politically motivated, to ensure that their political contacts (who donate to their campaigns) who are owners of brick-and-mortar casinos have the time and bandwidth to get up to speed with the online providers.