New Jersey regulates and taxes sports betting and allows gambling in casinos, racetracks and online. But despite Monday’s vote, it won’t be the first state to capitalize on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling it fought to win.
Delaware, where officials have determined existing laws are sufficient to regulate the industry, will open betting in three locations on Tuesday.
That means New Jersey is likely to miss the chance to become the first betting state outside of Nevada. Even with millions of dollars spent on a multi-million dollar lawsuit that last month resulted in a ruling overturning the 1992 federal sports gambling ban.
The New Jersey legislature passed legislation on sports betting Monday despite opposition from several professional sports leagues and former Mets and Yankees pitcher Al Leiter, who appeared in Trenton with representatives from MLB, NBA and PGA. Voted to clear.
The Senate and House will pass the final bill on Thursday and will seek final approval or veto from first-year Gov. Phil Murphy.
Murphy is an advocate of legal sports betting, and the prospect of a speedy signing excited his supporters. Monmouth Park racetrack operator Dennis Drazin dreamed of accepting the state’s first sports betting on Friday.
“I think Friday night is going to be good,” he told reporters. “There’s a Yankees-Mets game. There’s an NBA Finals game.”
But it may take several days or more for Murphy’s team to consider the law. A spokesman for the governor said only that Murphy looks forward to enacting sports betting legislation “in the near future.”
Senate Speaker Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloster, also confirmed on Monday that Murphy has not committed to signing the bill into law this week.
Bills introduced by lawmakers, A-4111 in the House and S-2602 in the Senate, would allow anyone over the age of 21 to gamble at casinos, working and former racetracks, online and on mobile devices. did.
Gamblers may bet on all professional and college sports unless the college event is held in New Jersey or involves a New Jersey school. Betting on high school sports is prohibited.
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Taking all fees into account, casino and racetrack sports betting earnings are taxed at 9.75% and online earnings are taxed at 13%.
One of the more controversial provisions in the bill would exclude casinos and racetracks whose owners control at least 10% of professional sports teams from lawsuits.
Several Atlantic City casino owners, such as Borgata and Caesars, have stakes in professional sports teams. However, Sweeney said on Monday that he expects only the Golden Nugget to be affected by the language. Texas billionaire Tilman Fertitta owns both the Houston Rockets basketball team and its casino.
A spokeswoman for Golden Nugget did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
MLB and NBA representatives called for an amendment that would require sportsbook operators to share betting data and information about suspicious bets.
But that demand was drowned out by lawmakers’ anger over the league’s previous call for a pittance of gambling earnings in the form of a so-called “integrity fee”.
According to the league, these fees help protect against corruption that could damage its reputation. After a contest, Essex Democrat Rep. Ralph Caputo called the request “maximum hypocrisy.”
Fees are not included in the law.
“You guys are in this to make money. You have no interest in protecting anyone,” Caputo told a representative.
“As a proposal, we could just issue a $9 million check to New Jersey in good faith,” Caputo added at another point, referring to legal costs incurred by New Jersey during the legal battle. “And we might estimate all the tax revenue lost in the last seven or eight years. That might be useful.”
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