New Jersey legislature passes sports betting law

News on 7 Jun 2018

Legal sports betting is coming to New Jersey’s casinos and racetracks, along with online, depending on how soon state Gov. Phil Murphy signs a bill passed Thursday by both the House of Assembly and the state Senate.

Both houses in the Legislature unanimously approved a measure Thursday to regulate and tax the industry, but legislative leaders still have no firm commitment from the governor on when he’ll take action.

In a bid to speed the process along, lawmakers on Thursday removed language from the bill that would have penalised sports books for accepting wagers before the new regulation is finalised.

The bill notably makes no provision for the “integrity fee” requested by the sports leagues, which fought New Jersey all the way to the Supreme Court in an unsuccessful bid to stop the state’s sports betting ambition in its tracks.

But the bill does exclude anyone under age 21 years from betting at state casinos and active and former racetracks, as well as online and on mobile devices.

Once the bill is signed into law by the governor, state punters will be able to place bets on all professional and college sports unless the college event takes place in New Jersey or involves New Jersey schools…and bets on high school sports are not permitted.

The tax rate based on GGR remains unchanged at 8.5 percent for land operators, who will also have to pay an additional 1.25 percent for tourism purposes, while 13 percent will be levied on online operators.

New Jersey is expected to pull in between $12 million and $17 million in the first full year of operation, according to legislative estimates.

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