New Jersey Sports Betting Information– Sportsbooks, Betting Sites
Sports Handle is your home for everything about legal New Jersey sports betting and legal NJ sportsbooks. In other words, we will answer, “Where can I bet on sports online in New Jersey?”
You may be aware that in May of 2018, New Jersey won its decade-long battle against the NCAA and major professional sports leagues in the United States Supreme Court, paving the way for NJ sports betting, Delaware sports betting and for other states gearing up to go.
With the stroke of a pen on June 11, the doors opened for legal NJ sports betting when New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill unanimously passed by the Assembly and Senate that legalizes sports wagering and gives regulatory power to the Department of Gaming Enforcement (DGE).
New Jersey Sports Betting — Sportsbooks, Betting Sites, Reviews and Everything to Know
“Today, we’re finally making the dream of legalized sports betting a reality for New Jersey,” Murphy said in a statement on June 11. “I’m thrilled to sign Assembly Bill 4111 because it means that 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.”
Licensed casinos and racetracks may apply for licensure to offer internet/mobile sports betting 30 days after the law takes effect (making the application date July 14). New Jersey’s law applies an 8.5 percent tax on casino wagers, 9.75 percent at racetracks (the additional 1.25 percent is for marketing Atlantic City destinations) and 13 percent for internet/mobile sports betting.
As of July 6, several locations are off and running.
Where You Can Make Legal NJ Sports Bets Casinos and Racetracks.
New Jersey’s commercial casinos are located in Atlantic City, along the boardwalk and, in general clustered together. As a group, they are Las Vegas-style casinos with large gaming floors and slot machines. All are run by national casino companies that have an interest in New Jersey sports betting.
1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, New Jersey
- 100 seats with individual flat screen monitors for comfortable live sports events viewing
- 10 betting windows
- Kiosks available for horse racing bets
- Video wall with screens to view live events from all major international athletic and race events
- A completely non-smoking atmosphere as of June 18, 2018 to provide a more welcoming environment to guests
- Boot & Whip – an in-venue bar offering a variety of cold beers and cocktails so you don’t miss any of the action
175 Oceanport Ave., Oceanport, New Jersey
Ocean Resort Casino (Formerly Revel) — Live as of July 28, 2018
500 Boardwalk Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Sportsbook operator: William Hill US
Meadowlands Racetrack — Set to open on July 14, 2018
50 New Jersey 120, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Sportsbook operator: Paddy Power Betfair/FanDuel for online, mobile and retail sports betting.
— Kip Levin (@kip) June 11, 2018
Not yet operating sportsbooks but likely to do so in 2018:
Bally’s Atlantic City
1900 Pacific Avenue, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Caesars Atlantic City
2100 Pacific Avenue, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Golden Nugget Atlantic City
Huron & Brigantine Blvd., Atlantic City, New Jersey
Note: When the Golden Nugget, which has partnered with Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) for its sports betting products, offers sports wagering, NBA betting will be off the table. This is because the NJ bill prevents casinos’ whose owners or executives with ownership interests professional sports teams from offering sports betting on the respective leagues.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City
(Formerly Trump Taj Mahal)
Set to reopen in summer or fall of 2018)
1000 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City
777 Harrah’s Blvd., Atlantic City, New Jersey
Resorts Casino Hotel
1133 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Tropicana Casino & Resort
2831 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, New Jersey
per queries: Meadowlands & Freehold plan to offer sports betting in time for football season. multiple AC casinos likely to have sports books by July 1. no NBA betting at Golden Nugget, though. no betting on NJ college teams
— John Brennan (@BergenBrennan) June 11, 2018
130 Park Avenue, Freehold, New Jersey
What Kinds of Sports Wagering?
Just like Nevada’s: full-fledged sports wagering on almost every type of game and league under the sun, including the NFL, NBA, NCAA, NHL, Olympics, NASCAR and more, offering:
- Straight bets
- In-game wagering
- Futures bets
United States Supreme Court Overturns PASPA: What That Means for Legal Sports Betting.
On May 14, 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the state of New Jersey in Murphy vs. NCAA, overturning the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the 1992 federal law that prohibited full-fledged sports betting in every state except Nevada.
In essence, that means sports wagering is now a states’ rights issue. Every state is free to choose if it wants sports betting and, if so, how to regulate it and tax it.
Since May 14, legal Delaware sports betting began at its three commercial casinos on June 5, and the state of New Jersey accepted its first sports bet at Monmouth Park on June 14.
States across the nation are considering passing sports betting legislation and those that already have it, including West Virginia and Pennsylvania, are creating infrastructure in order to be able to open for business.
The road to the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) took about seven years in a lengthy legal battle between New Jersey and the NCAA alongside the major professional sports leagues, who used PASPA to block the state from offering sports betting. The high court heard oral argument in the case in December 2017 and ruled in May, with Justice Samuel Alito authoring the majority opinion.
In an opinion joined by all of the justices except Justice Ginsburg and Justice Sotomayor, Alito stated:
The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make.
Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own. Our job is to interpret the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution. PASPA is not. PASPA ‘regulate[s] state governments’ regulation’ of their citizens, New York, 505 U. S., at 166. The Constitution gives Congress no such power. The judgment of the Third Circuit is reversed.”
New Jersey built its case on constitutional grounds — arguing that the law “commandeered” states to uphold its anti-gambling laws, or maintain them, or prevent states from repealing them — in violation of principles of state sovereignty. And it worked. Congress had overstepped its bounds. Congress could have outright banned sports wagering, and still could, but that’s not what PASPA did.
The case, originally titled Christie v NCAA (it changed with the new governor), was heard by the Supreme Court after making its way through the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, before SCOTUS granted New Jersey’s petition for a day in the high court.
What Was the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act?
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, known as PASPA, is the 1992 law that prohibits sports betting in every state except Nevada. Ironically, New Jersey senator Bill Bradley, a former New York Knick, was a driving force behind the bill. The major driving forces behind the bill were to preserve the “integrity of the games,” to stop youths from betting on sports, and to prevent other states from legalizing sports betting.
At the time the law was passed, New Jersey was among the states that had one year to legalize sports betting, but the state failed to do so. Three states, Delaware, Montana and Oregon did take advantage of the one-year filing deadline to continue quasi-sports betting games. The law grants the U.S. attorney general and the leagues the power to go to the courts to block a state from legalizing sports betting, which is what the leagues have done with New Jersey.
For a full explanation of PASPA, click here.
History of Christie v NCAA and New Jersey’s Battle Leading to the Supreme Court
A quarter century after Congress passed the federal law banning full-fledged sports betting outside Nevada — the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, aka PASPA — the possibility of legal sports betting in New Jersey has never looked more likely.
New Jersey has been the major driving force behind the push for legal sports betting for over a decade. In 2009, New Jersey tried and failed to bring a case challenging PASPA’s constitutionality. A district court dismissed the case for lack of “standing.”
Then in 2011, a public question appeared on New Jersey’s November general-election ballot, asking if the state constitution should be amended to authorize wagering on professional and amateur sports at casinos and racetracks. The referendum passed by a wide 64-36 margin.
Soon after, in 2012, the legislature amended the Casino Control Act and allowed the Casino Control Commission to begin offering licenses to casinos and racetracks to take sports bets. Later, then-governor Chris Christie and the state expressed an intention to go further and enact regulations to allow sports betting in Atlantic City casinos and racetracks, when the NFL, NCAA and other sports leagues sued to block the state from implementing any such sports betting. The leagues won that round and got an injunction in federal court, which stopped New Jersey in its tracks.
As noted in the PASPA section (below), the leagues have used the law to block New Jersey from legalizing sports betting — to preserve the “integrity of the game.” But that argument has crumbled in light of recent events, such as the sports leagues embracing and investing in daily fantasy sports, numerous games and sporting events taking place in Las Vegas, actual moves to Las Vegas (the NHL’s Golden Knights and the NFL’s Raiders coming soon), public remarks and writings in favor of legal sports betting by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, and much more. This is more of a policy issue.
“Christie I” and the sequel “Christie II”
The lawsuit dubbed “Christie I” began to address the merits of New Jersey’s case and its various constitutional arguments against PASPA under the Tenth Amendment. It’s a long and somewhat complicated tale in a gray area of the law that involves state sovereignty and equal sovereignty (the idea that all states should be treated equally, or on equal footing), and an anti-commandeering doctrine (the federal government cannot compel the states to enact laws or dictate how it governs its own citizens).
Ultimately, New Jersey lost in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, where the court held that “while the guarantee of uniformity in treatment amongst the states cabins some of Congress’ powers, no such guarantee limits the Commerce Clause.” In other words, federal law may impact states differently, resulting in scenarios where, as here, Nevada may license sports betting operations, but New Jersey cannot. New Jersey also made an argument under the “anti-commandeering” doctrine. New Jersey’s argument did not convince the court, but the state did get an idea for a novel angle of attack, and also gained some traction with its arguments as one judge dissented from the majority.
In 2014, New Jersey executed a novel plan in “Christie II” by passing a law (Senate Bill 2460 by Senator Raymond Lesniak) that partially repealed its state prohibitions against sports wagering, which effectively would allow sports betting, without explicitly saying so (the law “partially repeals prohibitions, permits, licenses, and authorizations concerning wagers on professional, collegiate, or amateur sport contests or athletic events.”)
The Third Circuit noted “clever drafting” in the law by New Jersey, but ultimately did not find in the state’s favor. But once again, the court was split 2-1, followed by a rehearing en banc where New Jersey lost, 9-3. The court rejected the state’s anti-commandeering argument but didn’t squarely address the equal sovereignty arguments (explored in great depth here), which is probably where the state has its best shot at defeating PASPA.
In October 2016, New Jersey filed for a writ of certiorari (for a Supreme Court review) in the “Christie II” case. It was seen as a major long shot given that SCOTUS accepts such a small number of cases each year.
But then the high court asked the acting Solicitor General to file a brief on the case, which he did in May 2017, recommending that the court deny New Jersey’s petition. But then the Supreme Court decided to take up the case anyway. Not because the high court is terribly concerned about sports betting, but because of the way that PASPA works.
In an amicus brief (“friends of the court”), a coalition of 20 other states wrote that they “submit this brief in support of Petitioners because PASPA impermissibly skews the federal-state balance. Amici states take no position on the wisdom of sports wagering, nor would all amici likely legalize sports betting even if permitted.”
The major issue is that PASPA may be an unconstitutional, Tenth Amendment-based encroachment upon states’ rights. That is New Jersey’s argument. They argue that PASPA forces the state (and others) to maintain and enforce laws against sports betting. As opposed to the federal government actually creating laws to regulate or prohibit citizens directly.
And further, New Jersey argues that PASPA simply dictates a policy, but creates no framework whatsoever for states to follow with respect to sports-betting policy. This has wider ramifications for the interplay between federal and state laws and policy, and the outcome could impact the controversy over sanctuary cities.
As you can see, New Jersey has suffered numerous body blows from the leagues in federal and appeals courts. A decision is expected before the end of June, possibly in April.
- You may listen to the oral argument here, when high-powered, high-profile attorneys for both sides discuss the case with the nine Supreme Court justices.
- You can read his recap of oral argument here and here (the more technical version).