The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled to allow states to legalize sports gambling, and New Jersey has now passed a bill to legalize sports betting at racetracks and casinos in the state.
New Jersey has been trying for years to have sports gambling legalized. Following a Supreme Court ruling at the beginning of May, the state’s vision has now become a reality. The court decided by a 6-3 vote to declare unconstitutional the 1992 federal law prohibiting any form of sports gambling in the country (apart from Nevada).
That decision means that individual states now have the power to legalize sports betting inside of their jurisdiction.
New Jersey was the main party pursuing the decision, so they are not wasting any time in getting their sports gambling laws up and running. Delaware was the first state to take advantage of the change; the state’s first sports bet was placed on June 5.
New Jersey Governor Philip D. Murphy signed the Assembly Bill 4111 on June 12. This means that all licensed racetracks and casinos can accept sports wagers on their premises. A party can also apply for a temporary license while in the process of building a new venue.
Racetracks and casinos will be able to run online sports pools once 30 days have passed from when the bill was signed. In order to place sports bets, you need to be at least 21 years old, and anybody that has any form of influence on sports events in which they are affiliated with is not allowed to place bets on them.
This includes coaches, referees, and athletes, as the sports organizations in the country don’t want the integrity of their sport to be tainted. Finally, no bets are allowed on college games or events that are taking place in New Jersey or in which a team from New Jersey is involved.
What’s the next move?
The first legal sports bet in the state will be accepted at Monmouth Park Racetrack on Thursday morning, June 14. It is expected that the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa located in Atlantic City will also accept sports bets that day.
The decision was even made to allow an old racetrack, Garden State Park, to accept sports bets even though it doesn’t host any more horse racing.
Governor Murphy’s office estimates that New Jersey will see $13m (£9.7m) in tax revenue from sports betting this year. Murphy was delighted with the decision, and he talked about how it will help the state to “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”.
Companies scrambling for position
As soon as the Supreme Court decision was announced, gambling companies across the world started to position themselves to take advantage of the massive market that had just opened up.
Paddy Power Betfair has acquired a major position in FanDuel, a fantasy sports platform in the United States that shares most of the market with DraftKings. This is seen as a stepping stone for Paddy Power Betfair to get involved in the sports betting market in the US.
The US arm of Betfair has also entered an agreement with Tioga Downs Casino and the Meadowlands racetrack in New York. This will allow them to offer online and mobile sports betting in the state.
They already have a presence in New Jersey, being partnered with a horse racing betting exchange and casino there, as well as being the owner of TVG, a US horseracing channel.
Betfair US CEO Kip Levin talked about the process of choosing their new partners in the U.S.: “We went through a diligent process and reviewed several options to provide customers with the best sports betting experience possible.”
DraftKings has also applied for a sports betting license in New Jersey recently. As the dominant fantasy sports betting provider in the country, they are well-positioned to capitalize on their existing user base.
They have also partnered with the Resorts Casino Hotel in New Jersey as its casino licensing partner, which will allow them to offer sports betting online in New Jersey.
Sportech, an online gambling company based in the United Kingdom, has just entered into a partnership with worldwide sports data firm Sportradar, which has significant partnerships with the likes of the NFL, NHL, MLB, and NBA.