In a move that not one person thought wouldn’t happen, the New Jersey government unanimously voted in favor of sports betting legislation that has been the source of controversy and change for the United States gambling landscape.
The bill – named A 4111, was passed quickly through the Assembly and the Senate without one vote against it. This fast-track has actually taken years, as it was this state that started the uproar that has led to the Supreme Court repealing the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. Citing the need to do something to prop up a failing Atlantic City, then Governor Chris Christie took this challenge on, and now it is squarely in the hands of current Governor Phil Murphy.
Murphy’s signature it all that remains to turn this bill into law and get the ball rolling on what everyone hopes will be a lucrative sports betting business. However, it seems Murphy is enjoying some of the limelight here, joking that he isn’t quite sure when he will sign it into law. Technically he has up to 45 days to sign the bill, but the chances are (especially if you are a bettor) that this will be signed in the coming days. After years of fighting for this right, it would be difficult to see it go any other way.
IN discussing the historic vote, one of the bill’s sponsors, Assemblyman John Burzichelli said “What a marvelous day for New Jersey. This will be a big boost for our economy. This will bring more people from in-state, out-of-state, and abroad to Atlantic City and to our state’s racetracks. This will bring jobs to our state and help put an end to illegal wagering. I can’t hide my excitement for what’s in store.”
Now, once the Governor signs the bill into law, there will still be a process to get the sports betting operations up and running. However, behind the scenes work has been going on to prepare the potential licensees for launch. It is conceivable that there will be legal sports betting in the state before the end of June, although it is more likely to now be sometime in July.
Why is that? Well, because Delaware decided it would get its 15 minutes of fame by rushing through their legislation and licensing to be the first state to take a sports bet in this new climate. Now, that is all fine and dandy for the photo opportunity and posterity, but no one is going to be looking to Delaware for anything interesting after that. The time is now for New Jersey, a state that has the history of land-based casinos and was one of the first to take regulated online casino and poker bets.
So, when will residents of New Jersey be able to bet on sports legally in their state? That is hard to say at this point. One thing is clear – the amount of work that went into getting this bill passed has opened the door for the entire country, so everyone should start sending their congratulations to the east coast.
We’ll keep you updated with any new information on the launch of regulated sports betting as it becomes available, so check back to Betting News regularly for updates.