New Jersey governor Chris Christie on Thursday signed a bill that provides for the regulation of fantasy sports activities in the Garden State. That’s daily fantasy sports (or weekly) contests — not the more traditional season-long variety commonly played among friends.
The bill will impose a 10.5% tax on the winnings of companies, such as DraftKings and FanDuel, that operate the contests.
The New Jersey senate bill (S1927) was first introduced in March 2016 by Democrat Jim Whelan, who died on Tuesday from a heart attack. Whelan was also the mayor of Atlantic City from 1990 through 2001.
This makes New Jersey the 16th state to pass legislation regulating daily fantasy sports, following Maine earlier in August.
According to NJ.com, the nonpartisan state office of legislative services estimated that the measure would bring in approximately $6.6 million revenue each year for New Jersey. Earlier estimates put the figure closer to $2 million.
“The state is in dire need of more revenue, and anything we can do to increase that is worth looking at,” Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, D-Essex, told USA Today in March. “However much it is, it’s a couple of million more than we have now. Plus, there absolutely is room for growth.”
So that’s a nice chunk of change but fairly small potatoes compared to what legalized sports betting would likely accomplish if New Jersey is able to succeed in its nearly decade-long conquest to defeat the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), which bans single-game sports wagering everywhere except Nevada.
In June New Jersey learned, to the surprise of many, that the Supreme Court of the United States would hear the lawsuit dubbed Christie II , in which Jersey is battling the leagues to overturn PASPA so it can began offering sports betting in the state. That one is to be continued and we will be following developments very closely.