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New Jersey Lawmaker Proposes Amendment To Sports Betting Rules

After The NCAA Announced Newark Would Host 2025 Men's Basketball Tournament, Sen. Paul Sarlo Wants To Allow Betting On NJ College Teams

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A New Jersey lawmaker is looking to change the one major restriction in the Garden State’s sports betting market.

According to a report from the Philadelphia Inquirer, State Sen. Paul Sarlo introduced a proposal earlier this week to allow gamblers to bet on New Jersey-based colleges and universities, as well as any college sporting event that happens inside the state’s borders.

Sarlo, a Democrat, made the move after the NCAA announced that the East Regionals for the 2025 men’s basketball tournament would be held in Newark. A New Jersey-based NCAA tournament site would prohibit sports bettors from wagering on about 25 percent of the day’s slate.

March Madness is one of the most gambled on sporting events of the year. Cutting out about a quarter of the games would hurt the bottom line for New Jersey-based sportsbooks. Gamblers would be forced to head to a neighboring state to bet the games or give action to an unregulated offshore book.

Pennsylvania’s sports betting market, one of New Jersey’s chief competitors, does not have restrictions

“This is an important opportunity we have to capitalize on,” said Sarlo in a statement. “We need to support and sustain this growing market that is fast becoming a significant part of our regional and state economies. March Madness is a high-profile event on the sports betting calendar, and we should be a key player.”

When the Garden State legalized sports betting, the rules were codified in the state constitution. Thus, Sarlo’s proposal comes in a constitutional amendment and will need to pass through a ballot initiative in November. If passed by the legislature, citizens will have the ability to vote on the issue next year.

The amendment only allows for betting on college post-season tournaments happening inside state lines. Betting on regular season games would still be prohibited.

New Jersey is one of the largest gambling markets in the country and the clear the leader on the East Coast. Its sports betting market is a big reason for that. In September, the state’s gamblers shattered the monthly handle record set just a month prior by wagering $748.58 million on sports.