Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday that he has signed legislation allowing sports betting at New Jersey casinos and racetracks.
The bill, which passed both houses of the state Legislature on Thursday, would allow a licensed casino or racetrack to accept bets at a sports wagering lounge, a special facility on-premises. Such a location could petition to operate a sports pool at a temporary facility while a sports wagering lounge is under construction.
Casinos and racetracks can seek to operate an online pool beginning 30 days after the signing.
“Today, we’re finally making the dream of legalized sports betting a reality for New Jersey,” Murphy said in a prepared statement. “I’m thrilled to sign Assembly Bill 4111, because it means that our casinos in Atlantic City and our racetracks throughout our state can 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.”
Bettors must be 21 years old, or older.
While the bill would allow gambling on most professional and collegiate events, it has some prohibitions. No athlete, coach, referee or other person with potential influence or access to nonpublic information about sports events can bet on events overseen by their league. Also, no wagers can be placed on either high school events, or college events in New Jersey or involving New Jersey schools.
The Division of Gaming Enforcement and the New Jersey Racing Commission are authorized to issue emergency regulations for up to 270 days, to allow casinos and racetracks to seek waivers to commence sports betting.
On Wednesday, the racing commission will review regulations regarding racetracks. Once regulations are approved, the governor will be able to ratify the commission’s action and racetracks can apply for the waiver.
The state projects tax revenues of about $13 million in the first full year of operations.