Get ready to place your bets, New Jersey. For real this time.
Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday signed a law that finally authorizes legal sports betting in New Jersey, ending a nearly decade-long saga that included a multimillion court battle against the nation’s top sports leagues and a landmark ruling from the nation’s highest court.
Monmouth Park racetrack in Oceanport is planning to become the first parlor in the Garden State to accept bets on professional and college sports games, starting Thursday at 10:30 a.m.
That’s just in time for the start of the World Cup, which begins the same day.
“Today, we’re finally making the dream of legalized sports betting a reality for New Jersey,” Murphy said in a statement Monday after signing the law, which lays out how the state will regulate and tax the betting.
The governor said the move will “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,” Murphy added.
The law A4111 allows people age 21 and over to bet both over the internet and in person at New Jersey’s casinos, racetracks and former racetracks.
But online betting isn’t permitted to begin for 30 days, and not every casino or track is ready to start accepting wagers.
The move is expected to bolster the state’s struggling casino and horse-racing industries and allow the state to reap millions annually in new tax revenue, situs judi online by tapping into what has long been a billion-dollar, but predominantly illegal, market.
Murphy’s signing comes a month after the U.S. Supreme Court gave New Jersey a victory in its seven-year quest to legalize sports betting — a case that cost the state $9 million in taxpayer money. The court overturned a 1992 federal ban on such wagering, allowing states across the country to permit it.
A quick tutorial on sports betting
New Jersey will become the second state outside of Nevada to authorize sports betting. Delaware beat the state by about a week.
Until the Supreme Court’s ruling, Nevada — home to Las Vegas — was the only state in the nation with full-scale legal sports wagering.
“It’s history in the making,” state Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, D-Essex, one of the sponsors of New Jersey’s law, said Monday. “This is one of those moments when you’re pleased you serve as an elected official. This is in an instance where you provide something that’s good for the public, that’s good for the citizens, that cleans up an industry that needs to be changed, and hopefully helps New Jersey’s economy.”
Betting can’t begin right away because there’s still one hurdle left. The New Jersey Racing Commission — which will grant sports betting licenses to tracks — is scheduled to meet Wednesday to review emergency regulations. After that, Murphy must ratify the decision and tracks can apply for a temporary waiver to begin accepting bets.