UPDATE: Murphy administration say no sports betting until law is signed
New Jersey lawmakers on Thursday passed historic legislation that puts the state one step away from finally authorizing legal sports betting — though it’s still unclear when you’d actually be able to begin placing bets.
Both houses of the state Legislature overwhelmingly approved the measure, which would allow people age 21 and over to bet on sports games, both online and in person at casinos and racetracks — and bring millions in new tax revenue to the state each year.
The state Senate voted 37-0 and the state Assembly 73-0 at the Statehouse in Trenton — less than a month after the U.S. Supreme Court handed New Jersey a victory in its seven-year court battle to legalize such wagering.
Now it’s up to Gov. Phil Murphy to decide whether to sign the bill into law and make New Jersey the second state to start accepting bets since the court’s ruling.
But while he publicly supports sports betting and lawmakers are urging him to capitalize on the wagering as soon as possible, situs judi bola Murphy hasn’t said when he’ll act on the legislation.
He said during a telephone town hall event Thursday night that his administration needs to “review” the measure.
“And that’s gonna happen sooner than later in New Jersey, and that’s a good thing,” Murphy added.
N.J. lawmakers ignore leagues’ pleas over sports betting
Murphy spokesman Dan Bryan said in a statement the governor has “long been supportive of New Jersey’s right to allow sports betting and he wants to ensure that the proposed regulatory scheme is fair and reasonable.”
A source familiar with the situation said Murphy is not expected to sign the bill this week.
That means New Jersey might not have betting in place for the last games of the NBA Finals or the Mets vs. Yankees Subway Series this weekend. Then there’s the World Cup, which begins next weekend.
Still, there was hope Thursday that Monmouth Park racetrack in Oceanport might be able to open its long-planned sports betting operation Friday afternoon, even without Murphy’s signature.
That’s because, in an effort to speed up the process, top lawmakers on Thursday stripped a provision from the bill that would have penalized any casino or track that offered bets before the measure becomes law.
That technically allows casinos and tracks to accept bets under a 2014 New Jersey law designed to get around a now-defunct 1992 federal sports betting ban by not requiring state regulation.
Monmouth Park ditched plans to open its sports book on Memorial Day last month because the provision was written into the measure.
Now it’s gone.
But Monmouth Park’s operator said he still wants Murphy’s blessing. Dennis Drazin said the track would begin accepting bets at 5 p.m. Friday only if the governor signs the bill earlier in the day or if he says it’s OK to start.
“I don’t want to do something the governor has a problem with,” Drazin said. “It’s been seven years. I’m anxious to open. … But he’s the governor. I support him. He’s a friend. I want to cooperate with him.”
A source familiar with the process also threw cold water on the idea of Monmouth Park accepting bets immediately.