AP Photo/John Locher

NJ Lawmakers Advance Bills That Would Legalize Sports Betting

June 04, 2018 - 12:07 pm

TRENTON, N.J. (WCBS 880/AP) -- Lawmakers in the New Jersey state Senate and Assembly on Monday advanced a bill that would authorize sports betting.

The committees passed the bills after winning a case in the U.S. Supreme Court. The bill is on track for final approval on Thursday.

When the Supreme Court opened the door to sports betting, the Monmouth Park racetrack was just about ready to go, but the legislature balked, WCBS 880's Peter Haskell reported. Monmouth Park hopes to have sports betting in place by Friday.

“The State Legislature did a lot of the heavy lifting today in terms of getting a sports betting law on the books. They set the tax rate. They did some other key details, and advanced these bills toward a final vote on Thursday. It looks like clear sailing. It looks like it’s definitely going to be approved on Thursday, and then it will go to Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk for a signature,” Associated Press reporter Wayne Parry told WCBS 880’s Mack Rosenberg and Michael Wallace Monday afternoon.

Sports betting supporters hope legislation will be passed and signed this week.

"I think we're on the precipice of a rebirth of Atlantic City," said Bill Pascrell III, a lobbyist representing a number of clients. "As you know in New Jersey there's no guarantees when it comes to the legislative process."
New Jersey lawmakers want to tax sports betting revenue won over the internet at a rate of 13 percent. A bill being considered by a state Assembly committee sets that rate on sports betting revenue won online.

Revenue won by casinos or racetracks in person would be taxed at 8 percent; an additional 1.25 reinvestment assessment would be imposed, as well.

The bill does not contain a so-called "integrity fee.'' The professional sports leagues are pushing for such a fee to help them police betting on their games.
New Jersey won a 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.

While News Jersey waits, Delaware will start taking bets Tuesday and Pascrell said Connecticut "is breathing our necks to be next in line."

Pascrell said once customers go elsewhere it can be hard to get them back.

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