New Jersey sports betting supporters can finally exhale. After nearly a decade of fighting for it in court, single-game sports wagering became legal on Thursday, June 14 when Gov. Phil Murphy placed the first legal official bet in the state’s history at Monmouth Park racetrack in North Jersey.
The Borgata in Atlantic City followed only minutes later when NBA legend Dr. J was given the honor of making the first bet at the casino’s new sportsbook.
Monmouth Park takes its rightful place as New Jersey sports betting icebreaker
It’s only fitting that Monmouth cut the proverbial ribbon on sports betting in the state. After all, the track was set to do just that back when New Jersey initiated the chain of events that eventually landed its case in the Supreme Court.
As is the case now under vastly different circumstances, Monmouth was reportedly just days away from offering sports betting back in October 2014. That’s when then-Governor Chris Christie had signed S2460, repealing the state’s ban on sports betting to get around PASPA. An injunction by the sports leagues ultimately put the kibosh on those plans.
Monmouth was itching to christen its William Hill-operated sportsbook this time around under a regulated environment, but last Thursday’s rather sternly worded letter from the state’s Racing Commission requesting that tracks and casinos wait until the Governor signed the legislation before accepting any wagers put a hold on those plans.
What other Garden State entities are on deck for sports betting?
New Jersey residents should eventually have plenty of options to choose from in terms of sportsbooks.
Owned by MGM International, Borgata already converted its racebook it to a full sportsbook and opened for business on Thursday.
Additionally, Meadowlands Racetrack is fresh off signing a partnership with Betfair US for retail/mobile online wagering.
Notably, Betfair’s parent company, Paddy Power Betfair, bought a controlling stake in DFS industry giant FanDuel in late May. With Meadowlands Racetrack counting MetLife Stadium – home of the NFL’s Jets and Giants — as its neighbor, there’s reportedly a possibility it’s a FanDuel-branded sportsbook at the Meadowlands before all is said and done.
The state’s remaining potential sports betting licensees are likely to progressively divulge their plans with respect to when/if they will accept wagers over the coming weeks.
The Golden Nugget – whose owner, Tilman Fertitta, also owns the NBA’S Houston Rockets – is restricted from accepting any NBA-related wagers – including futures. That limitation comes as a compromise of sorts, after an original provision that would have prevented the casino from offering sports betting altogether due to Feritta’s ownership of the team was removed.