Sports betting officially underway in New Jersey

Gov. Murphy places first legalized sports bets during his visit to Monmouth Park on June 14.

Legalized sports betting has begun in New Jersey.

Gov. Phil Murphy made legalized betting official when he placed the first two sports bets at Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, today, June 14.

“For the past seven years our heads and hearts were in alignment as we fought to overturn an unlawful and unfair federal law,” said Gov. Murphy. “We knew in our heads that we were right, and we knew in our hearts that we’d win, and we have.”

New Jersey became the third state in the country to legalize sports betting this week when Gov. Phil Murphy signed Assembly Bill 4111, which allows for wagering at New Jersey casinos and racetracks for certain professional and collegiate sports or athletic events.

Under the legislation, a licensed casino or racetrack may accept wagers at a sports wagering lounge at its respective premises, and can petition to operate a sports pool at a temporary facility during the construction of a sports wagering lounge. In addition, licensed casinos and racetracks can seek to operate an online sports pool, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

Former New Jersey governor,  Chris Christie, had led the way for sports betting to be legalized in 2011. After the seven-year, $9 million court battle, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of sports betting across the country. Delaware became the first state outside of Nevada and the second in the country to legalize sports wagering last week.

Walking from the podium to the window at Monmouth Park, Gov. Murphy announced who he would be placing wagers on.

“I’m going to place two $20 bets. I am going to walk back and place those bets, the first two legal sports bets in the history of the state,” he said. “I am betting $20 on Germany to win the World Cup and $20 on the New Jersey Devils to win Lord Stanley’s Cup.”

He joked with the crowd that he would not be betting on the Boston Red Sox to win the World Series or the Mets to not win another game this season.

Dennis Drazin, the President and CEO of Monmouth Park, appreciated Gov. Murphy’s effort in bringing legalized sports betting to New Jersey.

“I would like to thank Gov. Murphy for acting decisively and swiftly once the legislature handed him this bill,” Drazin said. “Gov. Murphy has said throughout, to us and New Jersey, ‘I’ve got your back,’ and he’s got the back of Monmouth County and New Jersey.”

Gov. Murphy left Monmouth Park and then headed south to the Borgata casino in Atlantic City to open up sports betting at that location.