Legal History of Online Betting in New Jersey

New JerseyWhen one thinks of sports gambling, sports books, and wagering, Las Vegas comes to mind first and foremost. However, there is now an east coast rival to the sports wagering capital in Nevada—welcome to the world of sports betting, New Jersey!

Live Online Sportsbooks

1. DraftKings Sportsbook – Mobile App and website is live! You can bet now.
2. Sugarhouse Sportsbook – Mobile App and website is live! You can bet now.
3. FanDuel Sportsbook – Mobile App and website is live! You can bet now.

Land Based Sportsbooks: Online & Mobile Apps

4. Borgata: sportsbook has launched with beta Mobile App
5. Bally’s: sportsbook available but the online sports betting is not yet live
6. Golden Nugget: sportsbook available but the online sports betting is not yet live
7. Harrah’s: sportsbook has launched but the online sports betting has not yet live
8. Monmouth Park: sportsbook has launched but the online sports betting is not yet live
9. Ocean Resort Casino: sportsbook available, William Hill is beta mobile app
10. Resorts AC: sportsbook DraftKings Sportsbook is the online website and mobile app arm.
11. The Meadowlands: sportsbook has launched, FanDuel Sportsbook is the online website and mobile app arm.

New Jersey’s Long History with Gambling

not. PASPA ‘regulates state governments’ regulations’ of their citizens. The Constitution gives Congress no such power.”

This excerpt was taken from the majority decision that was authored by Justice Alito (ironically, or not-so-ironically is a New Jersey native). Dissenting from the majority were Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor stating that “the court wields an ax…instead of using a scalpel to trim the statute” referring to the comprehensive reversal and declaration of the law’s unconstitutionality. The law was signed into law by Phil Murphy who also had the privilege of placing the first sports bets in the state. What did he bet on you ask? He put a few bucks down on Germany to win the World Cup and for the New Jersey to win the 2019 Stanley Cup. He’s 0-1 but only time will tell if the Devils, who made the playoffs this last year as a wild card team but fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning, will be able to get the Governor a nice cash out next summer.

With this decision, the sports-betting floodgates have opened in New Jersey and are on the brink of bursting in a number of other states including California, Washington, Idaho, Arizona, Wyoming, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Maine, Vermont, Kentucky, North Carolina, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and Washington D.C. As I am an avid sports fan, unfortunately my home state of Texas is not ANYWHERE close to legalizing sports gambling. FanDuel still doesn’t operate paid contests in Texas so legalizing any type of sports gambling is nowhere near being on the horizon. However, New Jersey is developing mobile applications that allow online sports gambling to their sportsbooks and casinos. So, can I be relaxing in my living room on a Sunday in Dallas watching the Cowboys go 8-8 again, miss the playoffs, and still be able to use my phone to place bets online to a New Jersey sportsbook? Good question. Let’s dive into it.

Who Can Gamble Under New Jersey Betting Laws?

In order to use the applications to bet online, you must be physically present in the state of New Jersey. These betting apps will use sophisticated geolocation that will only allow betting from within New Jersey state lines. Of course, we are going to have those select people that attempt to “jailbreak” the app in order to place bets, but for us law-abiding citizens outside of New Jersey—we are going to have to book a weekend trip to Atlantic City to enjoy the benefits of the sports betting applications. Oh, before you ask, if you aren’t 21 years of age, you cannot bet or gamble using these applications even if you are within New Jersey state lines. You’re going to want that money in your account anyway once you start making payments on those student loans, anyway.

So let’s say you’re an avid sports fan and book a trip to New Jersey for the weekend and want to place some bets. Where do you go? Which sportsbook or casino do you choose? I’ll do a run through of the casinos currently offering sports betting as of August 2018. These are sure to be rapidly changing as some of the large casino and entertainment companies begin opening sportsbooks or moving some business from Nevada to New Jersey. According to the Legal Sports Report, here is the current state of the operating sportsbooks in New Jersey.

There are several other casinos and companies getting in on the sports betting landscape in New Jersey and should be making giant leaps towards that over the next year.

Who Benefits from the Sports Betting Laws

So just how much money has New Jersey made since it legalized sports betting? According to Wayne Parry of the Associated Press, two casinos and a race track took in $16.4 million in sports bet during the first two weeks that wagering has been legal in New Jersey. That $16.4 million produced a gross revenue for those three venues (Monmouth Park, Ocean Resort Casino, and Borgata) of about $3.5 million. Not bad for a two-week period. It wasn’t bad for the state of New Jersey either. Since the winnings in New Jersey are taxed, the state made almost $300,000. Where those dollars go has yet to be seen but I would be surprised if a large percentage were to go to schools and public education in order to try to off-set any negative opinion or viewpoint that usually accompany sports betting. It does look like both the state and the citizens of New Jersey both stand to benefit from the new sports betting laws.
Finally, the future of sports betting in New Jersey looks strong as evidenced by the quick adaptation and implementation following the SCOTUS decision. Possibly more importantly, the strides made by New Jersey will also influence and provide an illustrative path for sports betting implementation in other states.

References:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/05/14/supreme-court-strikes-down-ban-sports-betting-new-jersey/1053022001/
https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/16-476_dbfi.pdf

  
Native Texan and graduate of Texas Tech University School of Law, and Harvard Business School. Quezada is currently an Associate Attorney with a law firm in Dallas, Texas, where he practices corporate immigration and represents some of the largest technology companies in Silicon Valley. Aside from participating in multiple fantasy football leagues, he is a regular DraftKings DFS player and also wagers on NFL, NCAA, NBA, and PGA Tour events. Beyond sports, Quezada also writes in the arenas of law, politics, and economics.