NJ Lawmakers Pass Sports Betting Bill

Jun 7, 2018

New Jersey Statehouse

New Jersey lawmakers have given unanimous approval to legislation that sets the rules for sports betting in the state. But indications are Governor Phil Murphy might not sign it this week.

The Governor’s spokesman says Murphy wants to ensure the proposed regulatory scheme is fair and reasonable.

Senate President Steve Sweeney hopes the governor moves quickly to sign the sports betting bill into law.

“We did what we said we were going to do. We gave him the bill. We shared changes. We went back and forth on changes, probably did about 95 percent of what he asked us to change, and now the bill is on his desk. It’s up to him.”

Assemblyman John Burzichelli says bill was amended to deal with the circumstances at the Golden Nugget casino in Atlantic City.

“The owner of the Golden Nugget owns 100 percent of the Houston Rockets. So it says to the Golden Nugget if you’re going to have a license, you can’t take bets on any NBA game. It seems to make a lot of sense. Because we’ve got to have a break. If you control the game, you can’t really control the sports book too.”

Another amendment eliminates a provision that would have prevented casinos and race tracks from taking sports wagers until the governor signs the legislation. 

Monmouth Park is examining whether it will start offering sports wagering before Murphy acts. 

Assemblyman Ralph Caputo is one of the sponsors of the legislation and is thrilled it won final legislative approval.

“There are ample benefits of bringing legalized gaming into our state. It’s jobs, development, it’s more people to Atlantic City. It’s about more revenue for our state budget and vital programs to pay to help our families.”