Quite a few states allow sports bettors to wager money on their own state’s college teams. New Jersey moved a step closer to in-state college betting last week. As always, at Vegas Betting, we have the latest news.
New Jersey appropriation committee approves the bill, what it means.
In a mostly bipartisan vote of 36-1, the bill was approved by the Senate on June 3rd. The bill headed next to the appropriation committee where SCR-133 (Senate Concurrent Resolution) was approved by an 11-0 vote. What may be more of a surprise is some forget that New Jersey does not allow in-state college betting in the first place.
The question asked by many is how long would it all take? If everything proceeds as expected, state residents could see this on the voting ballot by the November general election. That seemed far-fetched at best just a month or two ago.
Meanwhile, there is a companion bill called the ACR-200. This allows off-track wagering for in-state college betting as well as other options. That was passed in May and passed by the Assembly Tourism, Gaming, and the Arts Committee by a unanimous vote.
There are no really interesting wrinkles in the New Jersey bill that appear on track to head to the ballots. As details pour out, this becomes clearer and clearer.
Some realities on New Jersey in-state sports betting
From looking at this in several ways, the track will be cleared for a November vote by the residents. New Jersey residents can bet when it comes to the 2021 NHL playoffs, or the NBA Playoffs, or any other sport for that matter. Oh, that is for professional teams (even the Jersey ones). However, they still cannot for college teams in the state? Too many, that just did not make sense.
Frustrations mounted in both legislative bodies and among residents, but that appears in the past. With the pandemic, this just appears to be a little slower in coming to fruition.
There is an expectation that the vote on this issue will be overwhelmingly approved. Residents have openly asked what the heck has taken so long. For everyone involved, that has been the reality. In-state sports betting was considered taboo three years ago when PAPSA was finally repealed. Yet several surrounding states found no issue with it.
Again, college athletes will be monitored so they are not point-shaving. That includes the dispensing of insider information as well. There will be safeguards to assure that neither occurs. There will exist safety valves in place since the college betting market has come a long, long way.
“This bill makes more sense now that Greg Schiano (head football coach) is back at Rutgers,” Appropriations Chairman and Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D) said before the vote.“
Just the idea that this is getting closer and closer to reality has a lot of people excited. New Jersey ranks the best among sports betting revenue and surpasses even Nevada most months.
The state has some catching up to do in the college betting world
Again, quite a few states have laws on the books for this already and are making a significant amount of money. Look at states like Pennsylvania that have made good money at the expense of New Jersey college tournaments, the NCAA tournament, etc. A state resident could not bet on Rutgers, for example, during the 2021 NCAA Tournament because of the current sports gambling laws in New Jersey.
However, the point of emphasis here is this. The issue or taboo nature of in-state betting has run its course. New Jersey needs to get in step with the rest of the surrounding states in what is a non-issue. There are paths to open up even more revenue. Why not open those up? Exactly.
What happened then was revealing. Most forget the governor raised concerns three years ago when sports betting became legal back in 2018. Now, that ACR-200 bill states the following in its text.
“This permits sports wagering through certain off-track wagering facilities on any professional, collegiate, or amateur athletic competitions.”
Now, providing some last minute tweaks, the state appears poised to be finally heading in the right direction.
More with New Jersey and why this is important
There will be limits in place much like the “responsible gaming” laws that are already in place for professional team in-state betting.
The state will be hosting the 2025 Sweet-16 and Elite-8 portion of the NCAA Tournament. It makes sense to be able to bet on it at the Prudential Center and other places while the tournament is going on. Currently, a bettor would have to truck it to a neighboring state then come back. That makes little sense at this juncture.
The optimism is rising in New Jersey that this will happen. Some have speculated that it will be almost seamless for books, sites, and apps to implement the changes. Honestly, it is in place already but just waiting on the legalities itself.
Time is on the side of the state but the residents did not share the same sentiment. That is why there was such pressure to get this to the ballots in the first place.
Will the state finally get this done?
It’s a great question. The answer is becoming more clear. New Jersey has worked through this very slowly yet thoroughly. The key part is that the right steps were taken. It will get to the November ballots and by the 2022 NCAA Tournament, in-state college betting should be a reality. If a New Jersey resident wants to bet on Rutgers next March, they will finally be able to do so. That goes for any state college as well.
Chris Wassel is a skilled scribe who possesses a fervor for both sports and entertainment. Boasting a journalism background and over two decades of experience, he has crafted pieces that encompass a diverse array of sports including hockey, basketball, football, and others. His writing is characterized by its lucidity and sharpness, and provides a unique viewpoint on entertainment and political matters. While Chris primarily focuses on sports writing, he also writes about a wide range of subjects.