New Jersey Approves Sports Betting
If you’ve been following our news stories for the past few weeks, you know that there’s been a lot of debate over legalizing sports betting in New Jersey. A lot of places had begun preparing for sports betting, but progress was halted and it looked like it wasn’t going to happen.
In a vote held this past week, the bill was passed by the state assembly, where it received support from nearly all members. A short 24 hours later, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie happily signed the bill into law.
“As I’ve said all along, I am a strong proponent of legalized sports wagering in New Jersey,” he stated in a statement released shortly after signing the bill. “But given earlier decisions by federal courts, it was critical that we follow a correct and appropriate path to curtail new court challenges and expensive litigation. I believe we have found that path in this bipartisan legislative effort.”
Monmouth Park, which is one of the states that had prepared for sports betting prior to its legalization, said that they will offer sports betting starting Sunday, October 26th. It’s expected that sites will quickly follow suit, and some may even offer a no deposit bonus to entice new players.
Not everyone is happy about this turn of events, however.
Most major sports leagues, including the NFL, are livid. They have the option of filing a temporary restraining order to prevent New Jersey residents from betting. In order to do so, they have to show proof that online sports betting would do immediate harm to their league. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has said that sports betting is “inevitable” and that the league supports it.
“It’s inevitable that, if all these states are broke, that there will be legalized sports betting in more states than Nevada. We will ultimately participate in that,” he said to Bloomberg.com. These statements were made prior to the sport bill’s passing, and Adam Silver has remained silent on the issue since New Jersey passed the bill.
Meanwhile, New Jersey is celebrating. This is nothing but good news for the state, which needs all of the funding it can get. Several casinos have recently closed in New Jersey, but thanks to online gambling, profits actually increased compared to last year. With sports betting now approved, revenue will only soar even higher.
New Jersey is the first place to allow sports betting outside of Nevada, but if revenue soars like it’s expected to, it won’t be the last. The timing couldn’t be more perfect – the MLB World Series starts this week. Unless there’s a clean sweep during the World Series, game 5 is scheduled to take place on October 26th. Sports betting would certainly start off strong if game 5 happens, especially if it’s the deciding game.
It remains to be seen if any sports league will file for a temporary restraining order. If they do, there’s no estimate as to when New Jersey will allow sports betting.