New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation on Monday to officially get sports betting underway in the Garden State. With the governor’s signature in place, some New Jersey locations may go live with sports betting as early as Thursday, June 14th.
Sports betting was legalized by default last month when New Jersey won its Supreme Court case challenging PASPA, but lawmakers still needed time to draft and pass a law providing regulations for the new industry. Getting this last piece of legislation enacted was the final hurdle needed to finally bring sports betting to New Jersey.
Assembly Bill 4-111 was sent to the Governor’s Office last week by unanimous votes in the Assembly and Senate, but Governor Murphy demanded time to read over the bill “to ensure that the proposed regulatory scheme is fair and reasonable.”
Although some lawmakers were clearly frustrated with the Governor’s refusal to immediately sign the bill into law, Governor Murphy insisted on taking the weekend to look over the legislation before signing it Monday. In a statement, Governor Murphy said this:
“Today, we’re finally making the dream of legalized sports betting a reality for New Jersey. I’m thrilled to sign Assembly Bill 4111 because it means that our casinos in Atlantic City and our racetracks throughout our state can 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.”
Where to Bet on Sports in New Jersey on Thursday
Monmouth Park will likely be the first mover on this and the only location ready to accept wagers on Thursday. Monmouth Park had originally wanted to open its sportsbook by Memorial Day, but lawmakers told the track to wait until lawmakers could pass this last piece of legislation providing regulations and setting up a licensing process.
The New Jersey Racing Commission will have a meeting on Wednesday to discuss and adopt emergency regulations governing sports betting at racetracks. Governor Murphy will then review the regulations and ratify them, which will enable the Commission to issue temporary waivers to begin placing bets on sports.
Although technically it’s possible the Governor will not ratify the regulations, Phil Murphy has said he wants to place the first sports bet in New Jersey if possible. Barring any major surprises, Thursday will see the state’s first ever legal sports wagers.
Sports Betting in Other Locations
The Borgata has also said it plans to go live as soon as possible, but hasn’t yet given a firm date. Officials with MGM Resorts International, the Borgata’s parent company, have stated in recent months that they plan to begin accepting sports bets as soon as they’re able to do so legally.
“We are moving ahead with all possible speed to begin accepting legal sports bets as soon as required regulatory approvals are in place,” MGM said in a statement recently.
While sports betting at racetracks will be overseen by the New Jersey Racing Commission, casinos that offer sports betting will be overseen by the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE). It is unclear when or if Atlantic City casinos will be granted temporary waivers to begin taking wagers.
Other casinos and racetracks throughout New Jersey are still getting things ready on their end and not all have committed to a specific start date. Staff still need to be trained, sports books constructed and approval acquired before that happens. Even, so things are moving along and it won’t be too much longer before multiple locations in New Jersey are taking sports bets.
The new legislation also allows casinos and racetracks to petition to take wagers at a temporary facility while their permanent sports books are completed. This measure should help keep things moving along at a nice clip.
The new Ocean Resort Casino said last month it would be ready to go by June 28th, the Golden Nugget has stated it would like to be ready to go by the start of the next NFL season and other casinos have simply stated they’re following developments and will solidify their plans in the near future.
Online sports betting is coming to New Jersey as well, but the bill signed on Monday states online betting may not commence until 30 days have passed. That countdown began on Monday. However, Atlantic City casinos will have to receive authorization first, so the timeline for online betting also depends on how quickly AC casinos are approved to begin taking wagers.
Currently, there are no hard start dates for New Jersey betting sites. However, given the pace at which things are moving with operators and lawmakers alike interested in getting things going, online betting shouldn’t be too far behind.