New Jersey closes in on full-scale sports betting regulation

8 June 2018

The New Jersey Assembly and Senate yesterday (Thursday) unanimously passed a bill to allow full-scale sports betting in the US state.

The move comes three weeks after the US Supreme Court voted to overturn the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), in a move that now enables states to individually legalise sports betting

New Jersey headed up the successful bid and is now on the verge of joining Delaware in legalising sports betting, with the bill now being sent to state Governor Phil Murphy for final sign-off.

According to NBC, Dan Bryan, a spokesman for Governor Murphy, said: “He said he wants to act quickly, but the legislation will be subject to the same thorough review that all legislation sent to him for signature is subject to.”

Casinos that opt to offer sports betting face a tax rate of 8.5% while online sports bets will be taxed at 13%.

Operators will not be able to offer internet sport betting services until 30 days after the new laws come into effect.

Prior to passing the bill, legislators made a series of changes, including taking out a provision that would have prohibited any casino or track from offering sports betting services before the bill was signed.

As a result, some lawmakers believe Monmouth Park racetrack and the Borgata casino in Atlantic City could start taking bets from today.

In addition, a late change to the bill will allow the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City to take sports bets, despite owner, Tilman Fertitta, also owning NBA basketball franchise the Houston Rockets.

The Golden Nugget will be able to offer odds on all sports apart from basketball.

However, despite pleas from various professional sports leagues in the US, the bill does not include integrity measures they had previously requested.

The National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB) and golf’s PGA Tour have rallied for bills to feature a clause whereby the leagues receive a share of gambling revenue.

The leagues have said that they require additional funding to expand their anti-corruption efforts now that the US sports betting market is expanding.

In a joint statement, the NBA, MLB and PGA Tour said: “The legislation does not include basic protections to mitigate risks to the integrity of sports and to ensure fairness for New Jersey consumers.

“The bill allows for the creation of non-transparent betting markets that deny sports leagues critical tools to monitor betting activity and conduct integrity investigations.

“Additionally, the bill does not require casinos or the regulator to notify sports leagues of potential match fixing or other improper conduct.”

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