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The much-ballyhooed sports bill has finally been signed into law by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy who has recently concluded his overview of the document. As a result, sports betting is now a reality in New Jersey and opeations may start as early as Thursday. Let’s explore the events that ultimately led to this moment.
The Law is the Law
The first glimmer of hope came after the deafeat of PASPA. We have heard enough about the dogged piece of legislation that has been stopping legal betting in the tracks for a fair while. Well, the month of May brought us much reason to be gleeful and rejoice at the news that PASPA had indeed been defeated.
Later in July, the New Jersey legislature chambers convened and voted unanimously to push ahead with “singe-game real-money sports betting” at horse racing facilities, and casinos, well at least those in Atlantic City. During the assembly, it was agreed that online gambling via websites licensed by the state will kick off within 30 days of a Murphy’s approval of the bill.
However, Governor Murphy was a tad reluctant to proceed with a signature straight off the bat and said that he would need more time to examine the bill and rule on its fairness. His reluctance drew ire from supporters of gambling and in the meanwhile, Delaware had managed to sneak in first and offer sports betting.
Murphy Stays Firm, Acts
Murphy’s reasons, some guessed, had to do with the state’s budget. The general argument ran that Murphy will seek ways to apply the integrity fee that had been sought by sporting organization as a way of ”preserving the integirty of sports and fighting fraud”.
On Monday, June 11, Murphy moved to sign the bill into law, arguing that New Jersey may finally make the $8-million dream (the cost of the legal expenses) come true. It took the state seven years to push legal sports betting through courts and it has been a tiring and long fight.
The onus is now on state regulators who have to come up with transactional waivers while an underpinning legal framework is being worked on. The waivers will be in force for a maximum period of 270 days, after which, a specific piece of legislation will have to come into place.
As a result, the New Jersey Racing Commission has decided to act quickly and meet on Wednesday. Meawhile, Monmouth Park is expanding by adding a Will Hill sportsbook before Thursday morning.
Meawhile, casinos are also going to get some attention, with the Division of Gaming Enforcement still working on a timeline for these facilities to roll out in full. Some say that MGM Resorts’ Borgata will be the only property that will be ready for launch day, and this is likely true. However, more properties will soon cotton on.
Among the general hubbub of legalizing sports betting, Pennsylvania, Mississippi and West Virginia have all managed to push ahead with their own bits of legislation.The future of legalized sports betting does look promising.