New Jersey forging ahead with sports betting bill

News on 4 Jun 2018

The State of New Jersey’s sports betting draft bill A-4111 has received the green light from the New Jersey Assembly Tourism, Gaming and Arts Committee, US media report.

The bill, newly submitted as A-4111 today (Monday) and replacing Bill A3911, reportedly proposes a tax rate on gross gaming revenue of 13 percent for online and 8.5 percent on “in-person” bets with an additional 1.25 percent payment to assist Atlantic City in paying down its debt, although the text of the bill is yet to be posted online.

It’s no surprise, given the history of New Jersey’s fight to legalise sports betting, that sports leagues such as Major League Baseball, the NBA and the PGA Tour will have no claim to an “integrity fee” despite vigorous presentations before the State Assembly committee today (Monday), which were unceremoniously shot down by the Committee.

“You guys aren’t asking for an integrity fee are you?” Gaming Chairman Ralph Caputo (D-28th District)  is reported to have asked league representatives prior to presentations, “You’re in the wrong room.”

Following presentations, Caputo laid it on the line, asking league representatives:

“Why do you think you’re entitled to an integrity fee? After trying to ‘kill us’ from sports betting, which we had a right to do, as the Supreme Court told us so.

“What gives you the right other than desire for additional revenue? The tool you’re looking for is money and you’re not getting it in New Jersey. You might as well face that reality.”

Continuing, Caputo reportedly fired: ”You guys are in it to make money. This is hypocrisy. Nine years of fighting the state of New Jersey, and you come here? It’s disgraceful. Just a suggestion: You may want to write a check to the state of New Jersey for $9 million for all the money we lost fighting the league in court.”

The bill now moves to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for consideration before reaching the Senate floor for a vote which is expected Thursday.  If a favourable vote is received from the floor, A-4111 moves to the desk of New Jersey Governor, Phil Murphy.

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