In some rather unsurprising news, New Jersey has unanimously approved a bill to regulate sports betting, following the repeal of the federal ban by the Supreme Court. The regulations were approved late last week by both the Assembly and the New Jersey Senate. The final step will be for the governor to sign the regulation bill into law.
Sports Betting Bill Approved by Assembly & State Senate
The approval of the bill comes as no surprise to anyone. Years ago, New Jersey attempted to legalize sports betting in the state. The laws were passed, but the state was sued by major sports leagues, and it was eventually decided by the courts that the state government did not have the right to legalize sports betting. This was due to the federal ban on the activity. This led the state to eventually ask the Supreme Court to look into the matter. The Supreme Court agreed with the state and decided that the federal ban was unconstitutional, as four other states were exempted from the ban.
All that remains now is for Governor Phil Murphy to sign the bill into law. Murphy has been supportive of sports betting, so there shouldn’t be any issues. Some had hoped that he would sign the bill before the end of this week. However, the governor has said that he wants to review the bill before he signs it, so it may only happen next week. Many had expected New Jersey would be the first state to offer full-scale sports betting, alongside Nevada, but it was actually Delaware who was first.
No Jumping the Gun on Sports Betting
This will likely force gambling establishments to wait a little longer. Monmouth Park was reportedly planning to start offering sports bets on Friday afternoon at 5pm. Technically, state laws already allow for sports betting, and the new bill removed a provision that would punish business for offering wagers before the new bill was signed into law. However, Monmouth Park has said it will wait until the governor signs the bill.
Another last-minute change to the bill will likely make some people happy, especially the Golden Nugget Casino. The original law prevented casino owners who owned more than 10% in a sports team from offering any form of sports betting. The Golden Nugget owners also own the NBA team, Houston Rockets. This would have meant that the casino was forbidden from offering sports betting at all. However, the bill was revised to allow casinos to offer sports betting on all sports, except the sports played by teams they own. This means the Golden Nugget will be able to offer bets on all sporting events, except basketball.