New Jersey lawmakers suggest potential sports betting tax

26 September 2014

Two New Jersey lawmakers have proposed adding a 0.25% tax on all potential sports wagers in the US state to support sports leagues in their efforts to combat match-fixing and corruption.

According to Forbes, Atlantic County state Senator Jim Whelan and Assembleyman Vincent Mazzeo penned a letter to Adam Silver, commissioner of the North American NBA basketball league, to outline the plans.

The letter said that while legalised sports betting has the potential to jeopardise the integrity of the game, additional tax collected in the state would help support counter-corruption efforts.

These funds would go towards creating a ‘Game Integrity Department’ at league offices, with this unit being tasked with investigating suspicious betting patterns.

“While we strongly support the legalisation of sports betting in New Jersey and the economic benefits it will bring to Atlantic City, we are cognisant that sports leagues like the NBA need the necessary resources to protect the integrity and fairness of games,” the letter stated.

The news comes after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently announced that casinos and racetracks in the US state can begin to offer legal sports wagering pools, with the provision that bets are placed on events outside of the state.

Reports said that Attorney General John Hoffman has directed New Jersey law enforcement not to prosecute venues that offer sports betting.

The directive bans any wagering on sports teams based in New Jersey, as well as college sports or college athletics events that take place in the state.

Although federal law bans states from authorising sports betting, Hoffman said that New Jersey was not regulating, licensing or authorising sports betting, but instead informing casinos and racetracks they would not be prosecuted.

Related article: New Jersey set to allow sports betting