Gov. Phil Murphy Signs Sports Betting Bill

Gov. Phil Murphy

Gov. Murphy Signs Bill Legalizing Sports Betting In New Jersey

June 11, 2018 - 3:21 pm

TRENTON, N.J. (WCBS 880) -- New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday signed a bill legalizing sports betting, days after it was approved in the state Legislature.

“Today, we’re finally making the dream of legalized sports betting a reality for New Jersey,” Murphy said in a news release. “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.”

As WCBS 880’s Steve Burns reported, it took years of legal wrangling, a Supreme Court decision, and then still some political bickering over the past few days. But the Garden State will be home to sports betting starting Thursday.

The bill allows licensed casinos or racetracks to accept wagers at sports wagering lounges on their premises, and also to start up online sports pools.

Anyone placing a wager must be 21, and athletes, coaches, referees, and others with potential influence or access to inside sporting information may not bet on events overseen by the league in which they participate.

Wagers also cannot be placed on high school sports, or college sports taking place in New Jersey or involving New Jersey teams.

The new law does not contain a so-called "integrity fee.'' The professional sports leagues had been pushing for such a fee to help them police betting on their games.

The Monmouth Park racetrack has been awaiting the go-ahead for sports betting. The betting machines have already been installed, the 100-plus TVs have also been hung, and the odds are posted on video boards.

Dennis Drazin at Monmouth Park said he is expecting Gov. Murphy to be on hand Thursday to place the first bet.

Meanwhile, the facility at the Meadowlands racetrack is still a work in progress.

“Hopefully, what you’ll see is something similar to what a Las Vegas race book and sports book looks like,” said general manager Jason Settlemoir.

Settlemoir said the Meadowlands is aiming to take its sports betting into operation by the start of football season. As a horseracing purist he said, “Well, hopefully, it’ll help the horseracing industry get more people into the facility.”

There had been concerns about Murphy taking several days to sign the bill, which the Legislature approved on Thursday.

New Jersey won the Supreme Court case last month overturning a federal law that limited sports betting to only four states. Individual states are now free to pass laws legalizing it, if they desire.

(© 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)