UPDATE: Lawmakers have passed the sports betting bill
You might be able to place a legal sports bet in New Jersey as soon as Friday thanks to another twist in a years-long saga, NJ Advance Media has learned.
State lawmakers are planning to strip away a provision that has prevented the state’s casinos and racetracks from accepting wagers on sports games in the month since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a federal ban on such betting, according to three sources familiar with the situation.
That means casinos and tracks could begin offering bets as soon as the state Legislature passes the bill — without having to wait for Gov. Gov. Phil Murphy to sign it into law.
The state Senate and Assembly are both scheduled to vote Thursday afternoon on the legislation, which would determine how the Garden State regulates and taxes sports betting online and in person at casinos and tracks.
The goal is to speed up the process. While the bill is expected to pass each house easily, the question has been how quickly Murphy will sign it.
Some were hoping he’d do so Friday to get betting going immediately. But his office said it plans to conduct a “thorough review” of the legislation.
Sources have said it’s possible Murphy could use sports betting as a negotiating chip amid tense state budget negotiations with lawmakers over the next few weeks.
The last-minute amendment, however, could bypass that.
State Senate President Stephen Sweeney originally included language in the bill that would keep casinos and tracks from accepting bets until Murphy signed the measure into law, putting a regulatory structure in place.
That meant Monmouth Park racetrack in Oceanport had to scuttle plans to open its sports betting operation without state regulation at the end of last month.
But that language is now gone, poker indonesia according to the sources, who asked for anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.
NBA, MLB make plea as N.J. sports betting heads to finish line
Whether that means Monmouth Park will open its sports betting operation Friday is unclear.
“This is a very fluid situation,” Dennis Drazin, the track’s operator, told NJ Advance Media. “This is fast-developing.”
“We’re still trying to figure it out,” Drazin added.
Officials at the Borgata casino in Atlantic City, which has also said its sports betting operation is ready to go, did not immediately return a message seeking comment Thursday about whether they would launch, as well.
Thursday’s unexpected development is the latest chapter in New Jersey’s seven-year fight to legalize sports betting. Five pro and college sports leagues sued the state repeatedly since 2011 to stop the plans.
But the Supreme Court sided with the state last month, overturning a 1992 federal ban on sports betting and opening the door for states across the country to allow such wagering. Nevada — home to Las Vegas — was the only place in the U.S. to offer full-scale sports betting before that.