New Jersey Approves Physical Skill-Based Gambling

Posted By: Date: 02/17/2015 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

New Jersey may not legalize and regulate sports betting any time soon, but that’s not stopping them from allowing gambling on sporting events!

The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa has received permission from New Jersey gambling regulators to host a basketball contest next month. Contestants will sign up to shoot free throws for money.

The approval for skill-based gambling is a stepping stone for online sports gambling, and you can bet regulators will be watching this event closely. Regardless, they’re excited.

When asked for a comment, Joe Lupo, the casino’s senior vice president, said “This is a first step, something we’ve never been able to do until now. A year from now, you’ll probably see a lot more of these skill-based tournaments or even games on the casino floor.”

Here’s how it works: Rather than gambling against the house, bettors will be gambling against each other. There’s a $20 buy-in. The first round will see contestants compete in 90-second rounds for the chance to play in a “final round” bracket, which will consist of 16 players. The top four players will split $10,000, and the winner gets $5,000.

The New Jersey officials have stated that other casinos in Atlantic City are free to propose similar real-money games for approval, but each one will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the state. The event is open to all people ages 21 and older.

This is a huge deal, especially when you stop and consider how close New Jersey was to legalized sports gambling just a couple of months ago. This shows that state officials are open to the idea of sports gambling, it’s just a matter of approving everything and having some sort of framework for the whole system.

It also shows exactly how times are changing. The Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City is closing its poker room, stating that they’re now operating at a loss. They want to change their focus and re-open in July. It appears that people are getting a little tired of the traditional casino games, which could be due to a variety of reasons. It could be because they’re just not good at certain games, or it could be because they feel like they have better odds with different games. Whatever the case, things are changing, and casinos are trying to change with the times.

Whether the event is successful remains to be seen, but if it is, it’s almost a guarantee that New Jersey regulators will find a way to take bets via the Internet, potentially even enticing customers with promotions such as a no deposit bonus.

It seems like no matter where you look in this industry, it’s headed in one direction: forward. Just a few short months ago, progress appeared to be stalled, then all at once, multiple states are considering legalizing online gambling or online sports betting.

The times are changing, indeed.