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New Jersey Sports Betting Expected To Kick Off Thursday After Nine-Year Legal Saga

Governor Signs Sports Betting Bill

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Via Governor's Twitter Page

The wait is over.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy eased the anxiety of state lawmakers by signing the state’s sports betting bill on Monday. The legislation passed the legislature last week without a single lawmaker voting against it. Though Murphy sat on the legislation for only about three days, lawmakers were growing impatient with Murphy’s inaction. The Garden State spent about a decade and nearly $10 million fighting to get sports books at its casinos and racetracks.

“Today, we’re finally making the dream of legalized sports betting a reality for New Jersey,” the governor said in a statement posted to his Twitter account. “This is the right move for our state and will strengthen our economy.”

In May, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 1992 federal law that banned traditional sports betting outside of Nevada. The Silver State was grandfathered in.

The first legal bets in New Jersey are expected to kick off Thursday at Monmouth Park racetrack in Oceanport. Under the new law, gamblers can place sports bets both in-person and over the internet, including with mobile devices. Atlantic City casinos are expected to follow Monmouth Park in the following weeks and months.

The online component to New Jersey’s fledgling sports betting industry likely won’t kick off until later this summer. In-person sports wagering revenue will be taxed at 8.5 percent, while operator winnings over the internet will be subjected to a 13 percent tax.

Under the new law, New Jersey gambling facilities can accept bets on college and professional sports, but not high school. Bettors must be at least 21 years of age.

All states are now able to regulate sports betting, if they want to. The U.S. sports betting market is expected to reach $4b-$6b within the next five years.

New Jersey will become just the second state to kick off sports betting thanks to the Supreme Court ruling. Delaware, which previously allowed parlay bets on NFL games, expanded its sports wagering options earlier this month. Pennsylvania is looking to launch sports betting this year. Around 20 states have so far indicated an interest in sports books.