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Gov. Murphy signs sports betting legislation

Gov. Phil Murphy has signed Assembly Bill 4111, allowing sports betting at New Jersey casinos and racetracks for certain professional and collegiate sports or athletic events.

“We are finally making the dream of legalized sports betting a reality for New Jersey,” Murphy said. “I’m thrilled to sign Assembly Bill 4111 because it means our casinos in Atlantic City and our racetracks throughout our state can attract new business and new fans, boosting their own long-term financial prospects. This is the right move for New Jersey and it will strengthen our economy.”

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.

Executives at Monmouth Park, Oceanport, opened a sports wagering lounge on June 14 and began taking bets on sporting events.

Howard Bruno, the general manager at Freehold Raceway, Freehold, said, “We are very excited to be able to offer sports betting at Freehold Raceway and are developing plans to be able to begin accepting wagers by this fall.”

According to the law, individuals placing wagers must be at least 21 years old. The bill also provides that athletes, coaches, referees and other persons with potential influence or access to non-public information regarding sporting events are prohibited from placing bets on sporting events overseen by the league in which they participate.

Wagers cannot be placed on high school sporting events or on collegiate athletic events taking place in New Jersey or involving New Jersey teams, according to the press release.

The bill authorizes the Division of Gaming Enforcement and the New Jersey Racing Commission to issue emergency regulations for a period of up to 270 days to govern sports betting. These regulations are to allow for already licensed casinos and racetracks to apply for a transactional waiver that will enable them to commence sports betting, according to the press release.

The estimated state tax revenues that could be generated from sports betting are projected at approximately $13 million in the first full year of operation, according to the press release.

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