Don’t bet on being able to place a legal sports bet in New Jersey on Friday.
New Jersey officials warned racetracks late Thursday that they must hold off on accepting wagers on sports games until Gov. Phil Murphy signs newly passed legislation to authorize such betting, according to a letter obtained by NJ Advance Media.
Monmouth Park in Oceanport had discussed being ready to accept bets as soon as Friday at 5 p.m. The talk came shortly after state lawmakers passed historic legislation Thursday that would finally allow legal sports betting online and in persona at casinos and tracks in New Jersey after the state won a seven-year court battle.
In the bill that cleared both the state Senate and Assembly, lawmakers removed a provision that would have penalized anyone who opened a sports betting operation before Murphy signs the measure into law.
That technically allows sports betting to begin under an existing New Jersey law that does require state regulation.
But the New Jersey Racing Commission put the state’s three racetracks on notice that they need to wait for the governor’s approval.
“Participation in sports wagering, or in services related to sports wagering, on the grounds of the racetrack without first obtaining the necessary license will result in the commission taking disciplinary action against that person or entity,” reads the letter from the commission’s executive director, Frank Zanzuccki.
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“The conduct of sports wagering-related activities by persons or entities prior to the final passage of this legislation may bear upon their suitability for licensure under the anticipated law,” Zanzuccki wrote.
“It should be fully understood that any improprieties or adverse conduct related to any unregulated activities would have the potential to jeopardize their ability to be licensed for sports wagering under the new law,” he added.
In other words, situs judi online the commission put racetracks on notice that they’re all required to have a vendor license and that any racetrack that accepts bets before the bill is signed into law will have to have those bets reviewed — which would delay their licenses.
The commission’s letter was sent to Dennis Drazin, Monmouth Park’s operator, and the general managers of Freehold Raceway and New Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford.
Drazin told NJ Advance Media Thursday night he had not yet received the letter.
But he stressed the track will not begin accepting bets without Murphy’s blessing, regardless of the last-minute alteration to the bill.
Drazin said only Murphy signing the measure Friday or him telling the track it’s OK to proceed would change that.
“I’m gonna respect his wishes,” Drazin said. “He got the bill today, he’s gonna review it. I hope he moves expeditiously.”
Drazin said the governor had not called him as of 9:40 p.m. Thursday.
“I’m gonna wait,” Drazin said.
Murphy has publicly said he supports sports betting, but it’s still unclear when he’ll act on the bill.
He said during a telephone town hall shortly after Thursday’s vote that he still needs to “review” the measure .
“And that’s gonna happen sooner than later in New Jersey, and that’s a good thing,” Murphy added.
But a source who requested anonymity said Murphy likely won’t sign the bill until next week at the earliest.
Matt Arco may be reached at marconjadvancemediam. MatthewArco or .
Brent Johnson may be reached at bjohnsonnjadvancemediam. johnsb01.