Last updated: June 1, 2020
Date of legalisation: June 2018
In the history of US sports betting, New Jersey will always be recognised as the birthplace of a revolution thanks to Governor Chris Christie and Senator Raymond Lesniak.
Putting up a legal fight that helped overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the duo made New Jersey sports betting legal. What’s more, their efforts provided the foundation for other states to invoke the Tenth Amendment and exercise their right to enact their own sports betting laws.
To give you a clear overview of New Jersey’s sports betting history, here’s a timeline of the key events that led us to where we are today:
2011 – Senate Bill 2460 was drafted and subsequently passed a voter referendum by a margin of 2-1.
2012 – Governor Chris Christie signs the legislation but his efforts to legalise sports betting at race tracks and casinos are blocked by the federal government. At the heart of the legal challenge was resistance from the NCAA, citing PASPA as a reason to bar New Jersey from offering sports betting.
2013 – Two appeals by Christie are rebuffed, leaving New Jersey in a state of limbo.
2014 – Senate Bill 2460 is officially signed into law. Under the terms of the law, the bill was deemed not to contravene PASPA unless wagers were made on college events.
2017 – Following a period of stagnation, during which New Jersey was unable to formalize its sports betting legislation, Christie was granted an appeal by the Supreme Court.
2018 – Taking into consideration the scope of PASPA and the Tenth Amendment, the Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional to stop New Jersey enacting its own sports betting laws. With PASPA struck down on May 14, the Garden State was free to roll out its sports betting regulations.
By June 11, Governor Phil Murphy signed an updated bill and three days later, Monmouth Park racetrack accepted the first legal sports bet in New Jersey.
As a state, New Jersey has been one of the more liberal when it comes to all forms of betting. Prior to a ban in 1844, lotteries were popular and often used to fund military endeavors. Around the same time, Freehold Raceway was holding the state’s first horse racing events. Monmouth Park Racetrack subsequently opened its doors in 1870, but a ban on pari-mutuel betting in 1894 put things on hold.
By 1897, a vote put an outright ban on all forms of gambling within the Garden State. Although enforcement was sporadic at best, betting didn’t officially return until 1970. With the New Jersey Lottery now in place, anti-gambling sentiments began to subside. This paved the way for a 1974 bill that allowed casinos to operate in Atlantic City.
Although a far cry from Las Vegas, Atlantic City became an East Coast betting hub. Under the watchful eye of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE), Atlantic City flourished and its popularity has since given rise to online gaming (launched in 2013) and sports betting (2018).
Yes. Customers in New Jersey can bet on a variety of sports both live and online. As well as pari-mutuel betting, residents can take part in sports betting pools and fantasy sports. In practice, all forms of sports bet are available, including outright win bets, multiway bets, spreads and more.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) controls and oversees all sports betting within the state. Working in unison with the state government, the NJDGE not only issues licences and sets regulatory guidelines, but collects monthly revenue reports and acts as a point of contact for customers.
To place a legal sports bet in New Jersey, you have to be 21.
Compared to other US states, New Jersey has very few restrictions on where you can place a bet. The three main ways you can wager money are: racetracks, casinos and online sportsbooks.
Which operators currently offer legal sports betting in New Jersey? Although the list of licensed operators is always growing, you can place bets at the following live and online platforms:
Yes. Mobile sports betting is possible in New Jersey. Some of the operators currently offering iOS and Android betting apps are:
By January 2019, New Jersey sports betting had hit $1 billion in wagers. DraftKings and FanDuel are among the top operators, contributing to an average monthly revenue of $20 million.
The tax rate for sports betting in New Jersey was initially set at 8.50%. However, less than five months after the first bets were made, Governor Murphy signed off on a 1.25% increase. Today, brick-and-mortar venues pay 9.75% on net sports betting revenue, while online sportsbooks pay 13%. In contrast, Nevada sports betting operators are subject to a 6.75% levy.
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