New Jersey Sports Betting — Where To Play, Online Sportsbooks, And FAQ

In May of 2018, the state of 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 legal sports betting.

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BetMGM Sportsbook
4.8 Stars / 115.4k Ratings
4.1 Stars / 11.5k Reviews
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bet365
4.6 Stars / 3.9k Ratings
2.3 Stars / 193 Reviews
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FanDuel Sportsbook
4.8 Stars / 696.8k Ratings
4.7 Stars / 120k Reviews
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WynnBET Sportsbook
4.3 Stars / 94 Ratings
3.8 Stars / 139 Reviews
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PointsBet Sportsbook
4.8 Stars / 27.3k Ratings
4.7 Stars / 7.57k Reviews
$500 in Free Bets

As the leader of the fight, it was only fitting that the Garden State became one of the first states to offer widespread sports wagering. With the stroke of a pen on June 11, 2018, just four weeks after the federal ban on sports betting (PASPA) fell, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation to legalize sports wagering and give regulatory power to the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE).

Today, New Jersey plays host to one of the country’s largest sports wagering industries, encompassing an even dozen land-based sportsbooks, and even more online and mobile apps. With so many books available, knowing where to play can be a tough exercise, which is why Sports Handle has put together this comprehensive guide to the industry, including our exclusive power rankings.

New Jersey sports betting: by the books

There is no shortage of land-based casinos, horse tracks, and online sportsbooks in which to place a straight, parlay, or teaser bet in New Jersey. Listed below is a comprehensive table illustrating all of the sportsbooks where NJ-based bettors can wager right now.

New Jersey online & mobile sportsbooks

ProviderBonusLicensing PartnerTech ProviderMobile?Integrated Casino?
BetMGM Get BonusBorgataIGT/GVCYesYes
BetRiversGet BonusMonmouth ParkKambiYesYes
BetwayTBAGolden NuggetSBTechYesYes
bet365Get BonusHard RockPlaytechYesYes
Borgata SportsbookGet BonusBorgataIGT/GVCYesYes
Caesars Sportsbook Get BonusOcean/Monmouth ParkLibertyYesYes
DraftKingsGet BonusResorts DigitalSBTechYesYes
FanDuelGet BonusThe MeadowlandsIGT/PPBYesYes
FOX Bet NJGet BonusResorts DigitalTSGYesYes
Golden NuggetGet BonusGolden NuggetScientific GamesYesYes
Hard Rock SportsbookGet BonusHard RockScientific GamesYesYes
PointsBetGet BonusThe MeadowlandsBanach TechnologyYesYes
Prophet ExchangeGet BonusCaesars EntertainmentIn-HouseYesNo
SuperBook SportsGet BonusThe MeadowlandsIn-houseYesNo
UnibetGet BonusHard RockKambiYesYes
WynnBET SportsbookGet BonusCaesars EntertainmentScientific GamesYesYes
Barstool SportsbookGet BonusFreehold RacewaySportsGeniusYesYes
betPARXFreehold RacewayPlaytechYesYes
PlayUp SportsbookFreehold RacewayIn-houseYesNo
Tipico SportsbookOcean CasinoIn-houseYesYes
VIE.gg (esports)Bally's Atlantic CityOddin.ggYesNo
SporttradeBally's Atlantic CitySporttrade IncYesNo
Mojo MarketsTropicana Atlantic CityMojo Interactive, Inc. YesNo
SI Sportsbook (Coming Soon!)

New Jersey land-based sportsbooks

VenueBook NameLocation
The MeadowlandsFanDuel SportsbookEast Rutherford
Resorts CasinoDraftKings SportsbookAtlantic City (Boardwalk)
Monmouth ParkCaesars Sportsbook at Monmouth ParkOceanport
Ocean CasinoThe Gallery Bar, Book & GamesAtlantic City (Boardwalk)
Bally's ACFanDuel Sportsbook at Bally's ACAtlantic City (Boardwalk)
Harrah's ACCaesars Sportsbook at Harrah's ResortAtlantic City (Marina)
Hard Rock CasinoHard Rock SportsbookAtlantic CIty (Boardwalk)
Golden Nugget ACThe SportsbookAtlantic City (Marina)
The BorgataBetMGM Sportsbook & BarAtlantic CIty (Marina)
Tropicana ACCaesars Sportsbook at Tropicana ACAtlantic City (Boardwalk)
Caesars ACCaesars Sportsbook at Wild Wild WestAtlantic City (Boardwalk)
Freehold RacewayParx SportsbookFreehold

NJ Sports Teams Futures

Odds from FanDuel Sportsbook and they are subject to change.

SportClubEstablishedOdds
HockeyNew Jersey Devils1974
Win Stanley Cup +1400
HockeyMetropolitan Riveters2015Win Isobel Cup TBA
SoccerNJ/NY Gotham FC2007Win NWSL Championship TBA
FootballNew York Giants1925Win Super Bowl +12000
FootballNew York Jets1959Win Super Bowl +7000
SoccerNew York Red Bulls1994Win MLS Cup N/A

The latest NJ news

New Jersey Online Sportsbook top offers explained

Several unique offers are floating around the New Jersey online sportsbook market, and while some may seem straightforward, it’s always important to know the terms before putting your hard-earned money on the line. Below, we outline our top choices for new player offers and break down how to claim them. We also have comprehensive reviews of every site listed below to help you pick the sportsbook that best suits your needs.

FanDuel

FanDuel, one of the leading online sportsbooks in the country, first made its debut in New Jersey and is offering a Bet $5, Get $150 offer to all new players located in the state. Simply register for an account using our link, fire off your first wager that’s just $5, and sit back knowing FanDuel has you covered no matter what. Win, lose, or push you’ll get paid out fully with $150 in Free Bets within 72 hours of the initial wager’s settlement. Any free bets obtained must be wagered at least once before funds can be withdrawn and will expire if unused after fourteen (14) days!

DraftKings

DraftKings, another one of the top online sportsbooks in the U.S. market, is now offering a two-part welcome package that includes a $50 free bet + a deposit match up to $1000. The $50 free bet is activated as soon as you sign up using our link and make your first deposit of at least $5, while the deposit match will equal 20% of that first deposit, capped at $1000. The wagering requirement is pretty steep on this offer, where $1 in site credit is released for every $25 wagered, but players will have 90 days to clear the bonus.

PointsBet

PointsBet is offering a series of five (5) risk-free bets when you register for a new account using our link, each worth up to $100 for a total of $500 in bonuses! Simply place a cash wager of up to $100 on your first day using the site and PointsBet will have you covered with a free bet equal to your stake if you lose! Players can repeat this process during each of the next four days, leaving five total risk-free opportunities on the table! If any of your risk-free bets fall short, you can expect to receive your free bets within 24 hours of bet settlement. From there, you’ll have 7 days to use them before they expire!

bet365

bet365 may be a newcomer to the U.S. market, but the company has been a top performer throughout the world for decades. Their new player offer is unique and almost too good to be true – simply wager $1 on any sport or event of your choice and automatically receive $200 in free bets from bet365, completely on the house! To claim this incredible welcome bonus, just sign up for a brand new account using our link, deposit at least $10, and place a qualifying $1 sports wager with odds of -500 or greater (ie: -200 would qualify, -600 would not). Once that bet is settled, all eligible users will automatically receive $200 in free bets, regardless of the initial wager’s outcome! All qualifying wagers must be placed within the first 30 days of account creation or the promotion will expire. Once received, any free bets acquired must be used within 30 days or they will expire as well.

BetRivers (formerly Play SugarHouse)

BetRivers is the predominant, nationwide iGaming brand for Rush Street Interactive. Launching first in the state of New Jersey under the Play SugarHouse name in 2018, the site was finally rebranded to BetRivers in August of 2022. All new users that register for an account with BetRivers NJ using our link can claim a 2nd Chance Bet worth up to $500! Simply wager up to $500 on any sports market event (no odds limit!) and if your bet is a bust, BetRivers will fuel your account with a 100% refund in the form of free bets within 24 hours. Once acquired, you’ll have 14 days to wager your free bets before they expire.

Borgata

When you register for a new account at Borgata Sportsbook using our link, make your first real money deposit of at least $20, and place your first bet of $20 or more on any market offered on the site, you’re officially in business for the site’s bonus. You will activate a series of 5 $20 free bets for a total of $100 in free bets. These free bets expire after 7 days and only pay profits, but this is a great deal as you only need to put $20 of your money in play to earn $100 worth of free bets.

Barstool Sportsbook

It might’ve taken the Barstool Sportsbook a little longer than anticipated to go live in the Garden State, but better late than never, right? Players who wish to tail Big Cat or El Pres can sign up today using our link and take a chance on a risk-free bet worth up to $1,000. And unlike many other risk-free bets, Barstool will reimburse any lost wagers in the form of site credit rather than free bets. Being that site credit essentially works the same way that cash does, this is definitely an offer worth checking out.

SuperBook Sports

As the mobile betting extension of the famous Westgate Resort & Casino Las Vegas, SuperBook Sportsbook is a fine product that many New Jersey bettors may not be too familiar with. That is all about to change, as SuperBook is currently offering one of the best and most unique new user promotional offers in the business. All new users who sign up with SuperBook using our link are eligible for a $1,000 first bet match. After making your initial deposit, wager up to $1,000 on any sports market with odds of -200 or less.

Win or lose, SuperBook will fund your account with a 100% match in the form of a bonus voucher. Once the bonus voucher is received, every bet placed from that point will be split up – with your cash balance covering 75% of the stake, and SuperBook’s bonus funds covering the remaining 25%. If you win, take home the full winnings. If you lose, only lose 75% of the original stake! For example, if a bettor placed $500 on a team to win at +100 odds, they’d only be risking $375 of real cash, while the rest of the bet ($125) is matched by SuperBook. If it wins, receive the full winnings of $500 plus your original $375 that was at risk. If it loses, only lose $375 instead of the full $500 you normally would’ve risked. This one is a little confusing, but it’s a no-brainer.

Prophet Exchange

Tired of going up against the oddsmakers? Then Prophet Exchange might be perfect for you!

Prophet Exchange is not your typical sportsbook – it is a peer-to-peer betting platform where players can either set their lines and odds or buy other players’ odds. Think of it as a betting exchange where you can facilitate bets between you and other bettors rather than going through the oddsmakers.

Typically, bookmakers at a traditional sportsbook set betting odds for a particular game with a standard commission also referred to as vig or “juice.” The easiest example that exemplifies this is point spreads.

Whenever you bet on a spread, you are typically wagering at -110 odds and not +100 because of the built-in vig. If you want to make $100 on your bet on a particular game, it will cost you $110 to make that bet. Sportsbooks make their money on the commission on each side of that particular market. At Prophet Exchange, you can buy and sell your lines avoiding these heftier commissions you’d find on these other sportsbooks.

Prophet Exchange is currently the only betting peer-to-peer sportsbook in the United States.

To try out their new product, Prophet Exchange is giving out a 50% deposit match bonus up to $250 for all new users who sign up using our link! Deposit up to $500 for the full bonus amount and begin playing with a bankroll of $750 today! As if this offer couldn’t get any better, it comes with an industry-best 1x rollover requirement. This is a lot of money you can play around with and help you start in the positive when navigating the new peer-to-peer sportsbook.

Top New Jersey risk-free bets

There are several sites that offer a risk-free bet that allows you to place your first bet up to a specific amount, and if that bet comes out as a loss, you will be refunded in the form of a free bet. For example, if you bet on the Nets -10.5 against the Hawks, and they win by 15, you will be paid out like normal and nothing else will happen.

If the Nets only win by 5, and that bet grades as a loss, you will be refunded in the form of free bet credits which can be used on any market or event. Free bets usually only pay out the profit of the bet, so if you use a $100 free bet on a +100 odds bet, your potential payout will be $100. This is in comparison to a cash bet that would pay out $200 ($100 stake + $100 profit). The online sportsbooks that offer this type of risk free bet include:

New Jersey sports betting revenue

As one of the nation’s legal sports betting pioneers, New Jersey is largely responsible for the eventual overturn of PASPA, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. Being an early believer has not only allowed New Jersey to pave the way for the rest of the country to get on board, but also elevated the Garden State to become one of the most lucrative sports betting markets in the United States to date. The state’s prime positioning has resulted in the first $1 billion monthly handle in legal sports betting history, which took place in September 2021 during the start of football season.

Just two months later in November 2021, New Jersey set another sports betting revenue record by becoming the first state to rake in more than $100 million in sportsbook operator revenue in a single month – topping out at $114,788,726. New Jersey has yet to replicate or top that mark (or come even close, for that matter) since, but has posted a total handle of more than $1 billion on multiple occasions after its record September 2021, eclipsing that number in October 2021, November 2021, December 2021, January 2022, and most recently in March 2022 – with around 90% of all wagers placed via mobile during that span. NJ’s total handle of $1,348,860,083 in January 2022 remains the state’s all-time high.

New Jersey’s handle for the month of March 2022 was especially encouraging, as it was the state’s first $1 billion handle since neighboring New York launched its own online sports betting market in early January 2022. While many believed the loss of New York’s business would negatively impact the New Jersey online market, this has proven to be untrue thus far. The 2022-23 football season will be a major indicator to confirm this, but we fully expect similar astronomical numbers to come out of the Garden State – regardless of any competition that may be in its way.

New Jersey sportsbook operator power rankings

Presently, the NJ online sports betting industry has been dominated by two license holders, one a horse track with a locational advantage and ties to a daily fantasy sports giant, the other a smallish Atlantic City casino that has linked arms with an even bigger DFS behemoth.

Below we rank the state’s licensees based on several criteria, including revenue generated, overall market trajectory, quality of the sports betting products, and how many online skins are presently available.

#1 – The Meadowlands Racetrack

The Meadowlands

Located in the heart of East Rutherford, The Meadowlands Racetrack was among the first venues to open a sportsbook outside of Nevada, having taken its first wager just two months after PASPA fell. A mere stone’s throw away from New York City, and smack dab in the middle of one of New Jersey’s biggest population centers, the book at the Meadowlands has thrived, pulling in more revenue than any other retail book in the state.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the sportsbook is operated by one of the largest worldwide gambling operators in Paddy Power Betfair (now Flutter Entertainment), which merged with FanDuel in 2018 to create the FanDuel Group. FanDuel, which is among the most popular daily fantasy sports brands worldwide, acts as the forward facing brand of both the Meadowlands’ retail book and its primary online/mobile wagering site.

Supplementing the Meadowlands is its second online skin, PointsBet, an aggressive upstart from Australia that has taken the NJ online sports betting industry by storm through its clever promos and niche spread betting format, the aptly titled PointsBetting. Together, the duo has skyrocketed to the top of the online sports betting revenue charts, supplanting early frontrunner Resorts Digital (DraftKings Sportsbook and others).

The Meadowlands acquired its third and final online skin, SuperBook Sports, after a deal was announced in the Spring of 2021. The third skin was originally expected to be occupied by CG Technology’s upcoming new sportsbook, but the deal ultimately fell through when the company was acquired by William Hill (now Caesars) in September 2020. Instead, the Meadowlands gets to host a prominent brand backed by the Godfather of sports betting: Westgate Las Vegas. The rich got richer with this one.

There’s a reason beyond strong branding and a good location as to why the Meadowlands has done so well, and that’s quality: All of its products boast solid lines, sleek packaging, and are user-friendly.

#2 – Resorts Casino Hotel

DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts

DraftKings online sportsbook was the first mobile sports betting platform to go live in New Jersey, taking its first bets in early August 2018. Being first to market certainly had its perks, as DraftKings was able to leverage its exclusivity and massive existing daily fantasy sports database to gain early success. Its meteoric rise also proved to be a wake-up call to New Jersey casino brands, as this let them know that the DFS sites were in it to win it.

Since its initial launch, DraftKings remains among the industry’s revenue leaders and now even generates a healthy dose of NJ online casino revenue as well (casino games were integrated in December 2018).

FOX Bet followed as the second skin on the Resorts Digital license in September 2018, originally under the BetStars name. It received the new FOX Bet name after its parent company, The Stars Group, formed a game-changing partnership with FOX Sports the following year.

Resorts Casino itself even added a sportsbook to its existing iGaming site, which would occupy the brand’s third and final online skin. It didn’t last very long, however, as Resorts agreed to a deal in February 2022 that would allow a new, unnamed brand to take over its final skin. While the new brand has yet to be announced, Resorts already went ahead and pulled its digital sportsbook from its app and website.

The sole land-based book under the Resorts license is the DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts AC, which launched in December 2018. Although aesthetically impressive, the smallish book hasn’t been a major source of revenue (but still better than some), likely due to its location in one of Atlantic City’s smaller casinos.

#3 – Monmouth Park

  • Retail sportsbook: Caesars Sportsbook at Monmouth Park
  • Retail launch date: June 14, 2018
  • Online betting: Yes
  • Online sportsbooks: Caesars Sportsbook, BetRivers

There was perhaps no one more excited about the launch of legal sports betting than Monmouth Park operator Dennis Drazin. The audacious CEO of Darby Development was readying sports betting at the struggling racetrack well ahead of the Supreme Court’s decision. His gamble paid off, as the Monmouth Park Sports Book by William Hill (now Caesars Sportsbook at Monmouth Park) was ready to roll as soon as the gavel came down.

The June 14, 2018 launch generated a ton of publicity, and in our opinion, it was warranted, as this wasn’t a half-baked sports betting effort. Instead, the retail book formerly known as William Hill is well-conceived (albeit quaint) and has proven a solid revenue generator for the state.

On the online front, Monmouth Park-licensed sportsbooks perform admirably, although nowhere near as well as Resorts or the Meadowlands. In addition to the Caesars Sportsbook app, which replaced the William Hill NJ app in August 2021 along with the rest of the rebrand, Monmouth Park plays host to just one other online skin – BetRivers.

Monmouth Park picked up BetRivers after the iRush Interactive arm abandoned a potential sports betting partnership with the Golden Nugget. This presumably was because the Golden Nugget was forbidden, at the time, from offering NBA lines. This has since changed, but BetRivers and Rush Street have stuck with Monmouth Park. BetRivers has also fully integrated its sportsbook into its very popular and innovative online casino, making the app a one-stop-shop for bettors of all sorts.

Monmouth Park previously hosted a third online skin, which had been occupied by Canadian bookmaker theScore Bet. The Penn National Gaming entity officially seized all sports betting operations in the United States after its parent company decided to move forward with theScore Bet up in Canada, while focusing on its Barstool Sportsbook brand in the U.S. Considering the Barstool Sportsbook is already operating in NJ under Freehold Raceway’s license, there is an opening at Monmouth Park should another brand look to expand into the Garden State.

#4 – Ocean Resort Casino

Ocean Resort Sportsbook

  • Retail sportsbook: The Gallery Bar, Book & Games
  • Retail launch date: June 28, 2018 (temporary), September 1, 2018 (permanent), July 1, 2022 (The Gallery Bar, Book & Games)
  • Online betting: Yes
  • Online sportsbooks: Tipico Sportsbook

After four years of operating its Caesars-branded retail sportsbook smack in the middle of its world-class casino resort, Ocean’s Atlantic City recently underwent a massive sportsbook renovation. The $5M remake was drawn up to feature a loaded sportsbook, a 100-foot elevated center bar, and a lounge packed with slot machines and table games. The brand new brick-and-mortar book officially opened its doors to the public on July 1, 2022. Rather than continuing to work in collaboration with Caesars, Ocean’s opted to hand all odds-making duties to USBookmaking, an industry-leading brand that has operated more than 100 retail sportsbooks in Nevada.

In terms of online skins, Tipico Sportsbook went live as the lone sports betting skin under Ocean’s license back in September 2020. Operating on in-house tech, and headquartered just across the river from NYC in Hoboken, the brand has rolled out an intriguing product. Despite this, Tipico has yet to find its niche inside a busy New Jersey market.

Unfortunately, Ocean Casino has yet to integrate a sportsbook into its existing (and struggling) online casino site.

#5 – Caesars Interactive Entertainment

(Shutterstock)
  • Retail sportsbooks:  Caesars Sportsbook at Wild Wild West, Caesars Sportsbook at Harrah’s Resort, Caesars Sportsbook at Tropicana AC
  • Retail launch date: July 30, 2018 (Caesars Sportsbook at Wild Wild West), August 1, 2018 (Caesars Sportsbook at Harrah’s Resort), March 8, 2019 (Caesars Sportsbook at Tropicana AC)
  • Online betting: Yes
  • Online sportsbooks (Caesars): WynnBET Sportsbook, Prophet Exchange
  • Online sportsbooks (Tropicana): Mojo Markets

Caesars Entertainment actually makes use of three different sports betting licenses – one at the Tropicana AC, one at Harrah’s AC, and one at the headquarters, Caesars AC. The company uses its own Caesars branding for its sportsbooks inside each of the three properties.

Turning to online, Caesars Entertainment currently carries two sportsbook skins on its primary license after 888sport recently shut down all of its services. 888 had previously operated in New Jersey under Caesars’ license. Harrah’s license remains unused for sports betting, while the Tropicana recently linked up with its first online partner, the Alex Rodriguez-backed ‘Mojo Markets’ sports betting exchange. Oddly enough, Caesars’ very own online sportsbook platform does not operate under its parent company’s license – it has been accepting action under Monmouth Park’s license since the state first debuted sports gambling back in 2018 – a result of the William Hill acquisition.

The first online sportsbook to go live in NJ under the main Caesars license was none other than WynnBET Sportsbook. In July 2020, Caesars Interactive Entertainment added the brand to its online sports betting repertoire. WynnBET is the namesake site of the luxurious, iconic Las Vegas casino, The Wynn. WynnBET Sportsbook brings to the table a sparkling mobile app and a website to match, both living up to the brand’s prestigious name. It’s been a solid addition to the New Jersey market, along with other states across the country.

Caesars began hosting a second online brand under its primary license after newcomer Prophet Exchange made its debut in NJ on August 29, 2022. Prophet hopes to disrupt traditional sports betting by offering a peer-to-peer exchange system of wagering. If you have a bet you want to make, you can offer it on the exchange. So maybe you want to take the Giants +6 against the Eagles. With Prophet Exchange, you’ll be able to find someone to take the other side for reduced odds of +100 instead of the standard -110. Just place your bet and Prophet Exchanges does the rest. The bet is booked between you and another individual rather than you and the sportsbook. Prophet acts as the middleman. This is similar to how to the stock market works, but is a new idea in sports betting.

#6 – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Hard Rock AC sportsbook

  • Retail sportsbook: Hard Rock Sportsbook
  • Retail launch date: January 29, 2019 (temporary), April 1, 2019 (permanent)
  • Online betting: Yes
  • Online sportsbooks: Hard Rock Sportsbook, bet365, Unibet

Hard Rock’s land-based and online sportsbooks launched in tandem, just days ahead of Super Bowl LIII. Clearly a placeholder, the retail book featured no real seating, no video walls, and no bar — three key components for any successful sports betting endeavor. What it did feature is the promise of a new permanent facility, one worthy of the iconic brand.

That permanent book went live on April 1, 2019, and now features 3,800 sq. ft. of dedicated space, seating for 50, 60 TVs, and a full-service bar equipped with the casino bar mainstay: video poker. It’s not an ideal set-up, as seating is limited and TVs line the wall (as opposed to a video wall), but it’s a massive step up from the temporary sportsbook.

Hard Rock has partnered with two European heavy hitters in Unibet and bet365 for its online sportsbook skins. Unibet was one of the original online sportsbooks, launching in 1999 and boasting over 11 million customers in over 100 countries. They are bringing that experience to the Garden State via their Kambi-powered online book that brings great promotions, solid lines, and an easy to use interface.

bet365, although not a household name in the U.S. just yet, is one of the biggest online sportsbooks in the world. bet365 are pioneers in the game, being the first to offer in-game betting, live streaming, and many other features we all know and love today. When we say bet365’s betting market and options library is massive, that is an understatement. It all comes in an easy-to-use, non-cluttered package that caters to the rookie sports bettor and the most experienced alike – bet365 is worth a look.

#7 – Golden Nugget Hotel Casino & Marina

Golden Nugget Sportsbook AC

  • Retail sportsbook: The Sportsbook
  • Retail launch date: August 15, 2018 (temporary), September 1, 2018 (permanent)
  • Online betting: Yes
  • Online sportsbooks: Golden Nugget, Betway

Golden Nugget AC was the first Atlantic City-based casino to open a permanent sports betting facility, launching just ahead of the 2018 NFL football season. In terms of retail books, we rank Golden Nugget’s efforts as the best Atlantic City has to offer behind Ocean Resort Casino. The book features seating for 100 patrons, an impressive 50 TVs, five video walls, self-serve kiosks, and other amenities.

Initially, Golden Nugget was unable to accept wagers on NBA games due to NJ laws stating that any operator with a major interest in a sports franchise cannot accept wagers on that sport. Golden Nugget owner Tilman Fertitta also owns the Houston Rockets, but the rules have changed and Golden Nugget is now able to accept wagers on the NBA.

Golden Nugget’s online casino remains a top performer, but unfortunately, that has not crossed over to their online sportsbook. Golden Nugget’s second online skin, Betway, launched in New Jersey in August 2021. The overseas monster has yet to find its footing in the American sports betting market, however partnerships with the Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, and Los Angeles Clippers, among others, tell us Betway is slowly but surely making some big moves.

#8 – Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa

(Shutterstock)
  • Retail sportsbook: MGM Sportsbook & Bar (formerly Moneyline Sports Bar and Sportsbook)
  • Retail launch date: June 14, 2018 (temporary) June 29, 2019 (permanent)
  • Online betting: Yes
  • Online sportsbooksBorgata Sportsbook, BetMGM

Borgata was just hours behind Monmouth Park in New Jersey. Seemingly overnight, they successfully added sports betting to their existing racebook. Almost a year later, in June 2019, Borgata debuted the Moneyline Bar and Sportsbook (later renamed MGM Sportsbook & Bar). True to its name, it’s more of a sports bar than an actual sportsbook – but it works. The sportsbook has self-serve kiosks and 3 teller windows tucked away in the corner.

Borgata’s online sportsbook has gone through some major upgrades since its initial launch, adding additional betting options over the years, specifically within their in-game library. The app can sometimes be a little difficult to navigate and promos can be a little confusing, but they offer a ton of them – the value is definitely there.

BetMGM’s online sportsbook also went through a massive upgrade in mid-2019. This upgrade brought them up from a mediocre sportsbook to one that now competes near the top of the New Jersey sports betting industry. BetMGM really stands out for its willingness to reward its players, an area where other sportsbooks struggle to come close. With major financial backing, BetMGM is now a real factor in New Jersey.

Both the Borgata and MGM sportsbook apps mirror one-another, functioning exactly the same in every aspect other than appearance. Where MGM appears gold, Borgata will appear light blue. Other than that, everything is exactly the same. And despite falling under the same parent company, players are permitted to create an account with both Borgata and MGM – double the rewards for all!

#9 – Freehold Raceway

While its counterparts at Monmouth Park and The Meadowlands began offering retail sports betting right out of the gate following the banishment of PASPA in 2018, Freehold Raceway wouldn’t open up its sportsbook doors until nearly two years later.

Parx Sportsbook finally went live on September 25, 2020, occupying a small section on the second floor of the racetrack’s main building, pictured above. Players who enter the facility will be greeted by Kambi self-service kiosks before passing one of the many ticket windows along the walls. There are plenty of tables and chairs, and enough televisions around the room to match. All in all, it’s not the biggest and brightest brick-and-mortar around, however it gets the job done just fine.

With Penn National Gaming holding a 50% ownership stake in Freehold Raceway, it should’ve been expected that the Barstool Sportsbook was going to end up being one of the racetrack’s mobile betting skins. The Barstool Sportsbook mobile app didn’t get around to launching in New Jersey until August 2021, but has quickly risen to the top as one of NJ’s most popular betting apps.

PlayUp Sportsbook, a lesser-known brand based out of Colorado, made New Jersey its second state of operation when they agreed to a deal with Freehold Raceway on January 14, 2021 to become the track’s second online skin. Their mobile app definitely needs some work, but an attractive color scheme and lucrative welcome bonus are more than enough reason for bettors to give PlayUp a chance.

On March 16, 2022, betPARX launched its brand new, remodeled sportsbook and casino app and website in New Jersey under Freehold Raceway’s license. The third and final skin attached to the racetrack is the latest mobile arm rolled out by Parx Casino’s parent company, Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment. The app is extremely unique in terms of its technology, offering players a smooth interface with fast load times and aesthetically pleasing graphics throughout. Backed by a prominent name in Parx and its brick-and-mortar counterpart at Freehold Raceway, betPARX has the potential to become a major player in NJ.

#10 – Bally’s Atlantic City

  • Retail sportsbooks: FanDuel Sportsbook at Bally’s Hotel & Casino
  • Retail launch date: March 15, 2021
  • Online betting: Yes
  • Online sportsbooks: VIE.gg, Sporttrade

Bally’s Atlantic City is one of the town’s oldest, most historic properties – but it wasn’t until recently that this casino resort obtained its own online gaming license for New Jersey. The building was effectively sold by Caesars Entertainment to Bally’s Corporation (formerly Twin River Worldwide Holdings) in November 2020 in a deal that excluded the Wild Wild West Casino – Caesars would retain this entity moving forward.

Less than one year later, the brand was officially approved by the NJ Casino Control Commission for its own online gaming license, which should open up the door for Bally Bet to eventually launch in the Garden State – along with any other brands that Bally’s wishes to host. Esports Entertainment Group’s popular VIE.gg esports betting platform was the first suitor to claim a spot under Bally’s NJ gaming license, officially launching in April 2022. The online sportsbook will only be accepting action on esports – a unique new twist that we’ve yet to see in the digital sports betting realm.

By the summer of 2022, the new-and-improved Bally’s AC would unveil 750 updated hotel rooms as apart of the company’s $100M+ renovation project. In addition to its upgraded rooms, Bally’s AC also debuted over 250 new slot machines, a state-of-the-art high limits gaming room, and a luxurious beer garden-style venue dubbed The Yard. The Yard is a fun, action-packed new area where guests can enjoy live entertainment, a pub-style menu, and a curated tap list featuring local brewers, some of Bally’s best signature beers, craft cocktails, and plenty more!

Shortly after the summer, Bally’s AC picked up its second online skin. Sporttrade, the first regulated sports trading platform to go live in the U.S., launched in New Jersey on September 15, 2022 via market access acquired from Bally’s. Essentially a hybrid of DraftKings and Robinhood, Sporttrade aims to elevate the sports betting experience by adding elements from the stock market. Only time will tell if this one is going to stick.

Getting started at NJ online sportsbooks

There will be a little variation on how to get started at each individual site, but overall the process will be similar and should only take a few minutes. The first step in the process will be to click through the provided link on this page for the NJ online sportsbook that you want to give a go. This will bring you to the landing page of that specific online sportsbook. Some sites will have a “register” or “create new account” button, while others will take you directly to the registration page.

Once you land at the registration page, you will need to enter some personal information. This includes:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Last four digits of your social security number

All of this info is used for identifying that you are who you say you are. The online sportsbooks do not want accounts made by people that are not you – this is also built-in for your protection. There are safeguards put in place at every step of the process, including registration, banking, and while you are placing your bets.

Once you enter your information, it will be run through a secure, encrypted identification software, and in the majority of cases, you will be approved for an account within seconds. Once approved, you can cash in on all of the available bonuses.

NJ sports betting deposits and withdrawals

When it comes to New Jersey online sports betting, players can make deposits and withdrawals with confidence. Every banking feature is thoroughly vetted by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, the same government entity that oversees all retail gambling in the state.

Every transaction is safe, and majority of available methods used for deposits and withdrawals are probably already familiar to you. Think of making a deposit the same as purchasing an item on an online shop, and withdrawals are similar to getting an online payment from a friend or family member. This is one of the biggest advantages of placing your wagers on legal and regulated online sportsbooks as opposed to their illegal offshore counterparts. The days of wondering if you were ever going to get your cash out or having to convert your funds to some strange cryptocurrency are long gone. You can count on the legal NJ sportsbooks to process all payments quickly, safely, and securely.

You may be asked to verify payment methods, and once again this is for your protection as much as it is to protect the sportsbook. The NJDGE requires this so that hackers or scammers can not withdraw funds to any fake accounts, and if they try, they will be stopped in their tracks during the verification process.

It is important to note that payment options are going to vary by site, but listed below are the most popular and familiar ways to get your money on and off your favorite online sportsbook.

Credit / Debit Card

Every online sportsbook in New Jersey accepts some form of credit or debit card for deposits. Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted across all books, with a few that allow you to use your Discover Card. Same as if you were buying groceries, your credit or debit card will be securely processed and funds will be available immediately.

ACH/eCheck

eChecks are the same as writing a physical check, but are processed online. You will link your checking account via the routing number on a paper check and your information will be processed through a secure third party operator. Your funds will be available immediately, but you may not see the money come out of your checking account for 24-48 hours. Withdrawals are available and take the same 24-48 hours to hit your account.

PayPal

If you shop online, you most likely already have a PayPal account, and you can use that same set up for making deposits and withdrawals on your favorite online sportsbook. Feel free to use your PayPal balance, a linked checking account, or a linked credit card to make any deposits, while withdrawals are nearly instant and should arrive in your account shortly after your payout is approved. If you do not already have a PayPal account, or want to learn more about how to take advantage of this secure payment processor, you can check out our guide to using PayPal at legal online sportsbooks.

Play+ Prepaid Card

Play+ is an option that can be used for bettors that use one of the deposit-only options and would like to have a method for withdrawal. You can sign up for the site-specific prepaid card directly in the cashier area of your sportsbook app, and in seconds you will be approved, ready to link your credit card or bank account. Play+ withdrawals are instant, and you can actually use the physical card (they’ll mail it to you, takes about two weeks) to extract real cash from an ATM. It works just like a debit card – you can pull money out in-person or swipe it directly to make purchases at any retailer that accepts Discover cards.

PayNearMe

When you choose to make a deposit using PayNearMe, you will be given a barcode. This barcode can be brought to any 7-11, CVS or Family Dollar (among other locations) along with the cash you intend to deposit. The cashier will scan the barcode, take the cash, and the funds will be available in your account within 15 minutes. PayNearMe may exclude you from taking advantage of several bonus and promotional offerings, so be sure to check the terms and conditions before using PayNearMe. Furthermore, withdrawals are unavailable via this banking method.

Cash at the Casino Cage

Another cash-related banking option is going directly to the cage of the retail casino that is affiliated with the online sportsbook of your choice. When making a cash deposit, be sure to bring your ID and have your online username handy. Cash-outs can be picked up after your withdrawal is processed. Always be sure to read the terms and conditions at the sportsbook of your choosing before heading over to its retail partner, as some brands may not offer this service or require a 2-3 day period before money is cleared for pickup.

Skrill

Skrill is a lesser known eWallet option that works similar to PayPal, but is a bit unique in that the USD funds can be converted to several different international currencies, and a few select cryptocurrencies. There are fees associated with using Skrill as a payment processor, but it has some perks that make up for them.

Online Bank Transfer

If your bank has an online bill pay option, you can probably make deposits and withdrawals using that same service. You will be asked to login to your online banking account and money will be taken directly from your checking account. Withdrawals will be processed the same way. Sports betting cash will be available immediately, but it may take up to 24 hours to see the funds debit from your account.

While some withdrawals are instant, some may take up to 72 hours to process. The online sportsbook needs to review the account just to be sure that there is no suspicious activity. Typically, the first withdrawal may take longer than usual as payments may need to be verified.

Venmo

Now available at select sportsbooks such as FanDuel and DraftKings, use Venmo to send funds to your online wagering accounts. Got an extra $20 in your Venmo account that your friend sent over to pay you back for lunch? You can now send that $20 straight to your betting account rather than transferring it to your bank and waiting for the payment to clear.

Apple Pay

Similar to Venmo, more and more sportsbooks are starting to add Apple Pay to their list of available banking options. Just as you would use your Apple Pay balance to pay for a train ticket or your groceries at the store, feel free to use it to fund your online sports betting account at participating books!

Sports betting status in nearby states

With sports betting legal and regulated in the Garden State, you may get used to being able to just pull out your phone and place a bet, instantly turning your living room or any sports bar into your own personal sportsbook. What happens when you travel out of town and want to place a few wagers? Can you? Will your balance carry over? The quick answer is, sometimes. Let’s take a look at the status of sports betting around New Jersey.

New Jersey is surrounded by states that have legalized sports betting

Pennsylvania

When you cross over the Delaware River into Pennsylvania you will find one of the most gambling friendly states in the Union. Similar to New Jersey, the Keystone State has legalized all forms of online gambling including online sports betting, online casinos, and online poker. You will find many familiar faces including BetMGM, BetRivers and FOX Bet, but if you are looking to bet with the balance you had in New Jersey, the only balances that carry over are FanDuel and DraftKings.

If you would like to play on a sportsbook that is not FanDuel or DraftKings, you will need to create a new account in Pennsylvania. This may seem like a hassle, but this also means that you can claim the welcome package for a second time while visiting your friendly neighbor to the West. This means a whole new batch of deposit bonuses and risk-free bets.

Delaware

The little state to the South does have legal sports betting, but has not given the green light to online sports betting just yet. In order to place a bet, you will need to travel to one of the state’s three retail casinos. The retail casinos are located throughout the state, with Delaware Park being the closest to New Jersey, in Wilmington. Harrington Raceway and Casino is located in the Delaware State Fair, and Dover Downs Casino is at the famous racetrack.

Delaware does offer online casino games and online poker, so eventually legalizing online sports betting is a distinct possibility, but for now to get that bet in on Embiid to win MVP, you are going to have to get in the car and go to one of Delaware’s three retail sportsbooks.

New York

The state had previously only allowed for retail sportsbooks to operate in upstate New York, leaving the majority of city-based bettors out of luck. After many years of anticipation, New York finally went ahead and legalized online sports betting in the state at 9:00am on Saturday, January 8th, 2022. The launch featured four initial sportsbooks going live in the Empire State: FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars, and BetRivers. BetMGM, PointsBet, WynnBET, Resorts World Bet, and Bally Bet followed up shortly after, officially rounding out the nine available online licenses in New York.

Other nearby states

While they don’t share a border, there are other states in the area that are getting involved with sports betting. Virginia legalized and launched in 2020, Connecticut followed in 2021, and Maryland has legalized but is still awaiting its mobile betting rollout. Chances are, if you’re traveling around the northeast, you’ll find yourself in, or passing through a state with legal betting options.

Sports betting guides

If you are new to sports betting, new to online sports betting, or just want to brush up on your legal online sports wagering rules, bonuses, and terminology, be sure to check out our guides. These guides cover a range of topics and can help you hone your skills. They will help you on your path to becoming a sharper sports bettor.

  • Sports betting bonuses This guide to online sports betting bonuses will walk you through all the different bonus variations, how to claim them, and all the associated lingo that can sometimes be a little confusing to grasp at first.
  • Guide to risk-free BetsNot all risk-free bets are created equal, and in this guide we break down all the different types of risk-free bets that are offered in New Jersey and beyond. It’s important to know exactly what you are getting yourself into before placing that first bet.
  • Top sports betting podcastsThere are a ton of podcasts out there related to sports betting, but here at SportsHandle we waded through all the major options and came up with our top choices. These podcasts are all unique in their own way, and we break down why we chose them for our list.
  • Expected valueNot many sports bettors think about expected value when placing their online bets, and even fewer apply it to their wagering strategy. Our expected value strategy walks you through the basics and moves on to some more advanced theories about how to properly assess your betting with a strong mathematical approach.
  • Top scores and odds appsKeeping track of your bets has never been easier when you take advantage of one of the sports scores and odds apps on our list. Keep track of scores, betting odds, and more, right on your phone.
  • Sports betting twitterEveryone thinks they are an online sports betting genius, but many of the names on our top sports betting Twitter follows actually are. Some are deep into analytics while others are just a fun follow. Be sure to check out our top picks to help make your Twitter feed even more enjoyable.
  • Get a Grip PodcastBrought to you by two of our very own, Dave Sharapan and Dan Back, this sports betting podcast delivers all the news and info about the legal sports betting industry like no one else.

Regulations, taxes, and fees

Under New Jersey law, only qualified casino and racetrack properties can apply for a sports betting license. In addition, anyone hoping to run an online sportsbook must first be partnered up with a license holder.

The tax rate on NJ sports betting was set at 8.5% on gross gaming revenue for land-based casinos and tracks, with tracks paying an additional 1.25% to the Division of Local Government Services in the Dept. of Community Affairs. Later, in October 2018, Gov. Murphy signed off on an additional 1.25% tax to be paid by casino sportsbooks, with the funds allocated for the Casino Reinvestment Development Agency, and used for the purposes of marketing Atlantic City. Online sportsbook pay a flat 13% tax on gaming revenue.

The fee to apply for a sports betting license is $100,000.

License holders are limited to three individually branded websites, or skins, each, and only have a 270-day window in which to operate an online book without a retail facility. This hasn’t proven an issue so far, as all license holders went live with retail outlets before going online, or in tandem.

There are a few additional caveats in the regulations that have impacted the industry. While operators can take wagers on college sports, like college football, they are forbidden from taking bets on college games that involve New Jersey teams, regardless of whether they’re played in New Jersey or not. Similarly, you can’t bet on any college games taking place in the state of New Jersey, regardless of who is involved. There are efforts underway to reverse these policies, but for now, they remain intact.

Frequently asked questions

Is legal sports betting live in New Jersey?

Yes, and it has been since June 2018 when retail sportsbooks at the Borgata and Monmouth Park began taking bets.

Today’s industry is much larger, with plenty of land-based books and online sites open for business. There are now more than 20 different online brands live in the state, with new options likely to surface every year as the industry continues to take shape.

Who is eligible to place wagers at NJ sportsbooks?

As long as you’re the legal gambling age of 21, and not on any voluntary or involuntary self-exclusion lists, you can place wagers at a land-based outlet.

Those looking to place wagers online must be geolocated in the state borders of New Jersey. That doesn’t mean you have to hold residence in the Garden State, but it does mean that you’ll have to have location services activated on your device, and that the device must first recognize that you are in fact, in New Jersey.

You do not have to be in New Jersey to skim the betting lines, register an online account, or even make a deposit — only to place real-money wagers.

How do I register for an online sportsbook in New Jersey?

Typically, registering for an online sportsbook entails providing a few pieces of identifying information such as your full name, address, and social security number (usually only the last four digits). The information is then processed by the system for accuracy, and if all checks out, you’ll be good to go.

In order to withdraw funds from an online sportsbook, you may be asked to provide a scanned copy of your driver’s license or another identifying document, and may also have to upload documents that verify the account information tied to your preferred withdrawal method. For instance, those wishing to withdraw via eCheck (ACH) might be asked to upload a copy of a recent bank statement. You will only have to do this one time.

Do online sportsbooks offer bonuses to new players?

One of the key advantages of placing wagers online is that all new players will be entitled to some sort of bonus offer.

The welcome bonus packages themselves vary, with some sites offering a 100% match on first deposits with a rollover requirement, and others a full refund (capped at a certain amount) in the form of site credit or free bets, pending a bettor’s loss on their initial wager.

A select few sites may even offer new players what’s called a no-deposit bonus. To claim these, users simply have to sign up for the site, no deposit required.

In order to maximize the amount received, we highly encourage bettors to sign up via one of the links on this page, or through our NJ online sportsbook reviews, as we commonly offer packages that are better than the public offer.

What types of sports bets are available in New Jersey?

New Jersey’s sports betting menu is just like Nevada’s: full-fledged sports wagering on almost every type of game and league under the sun, including the NFL, NBA, NCAAF, NCAAB, NHL, MLB, PGA Golf, Olympics, NASCAR and more, offering:

  • Straight bets
  • In-game wagering
  • Teasers
  • Parlays
  • Futures bets
  • Props

Check out our glossary/explainer on sports wagering in two parts — here’s 101 for the beginners and intermediates, and 201 for more seasoned sports bettors.

How are the betting lines at NJ online sportsbooks?

While there is no easy answer to that question, we can say with clarity that the betting lines hold up remarkably well compared to the Nevada market, which is actually a bit of a surprise considering the higher tax rate.

That said, the pricing does vary quite wildly from site to site, with some operators commonly offering reduced juice on point spreads and totals, but mediocre prop pricing, and others rolling out all sorts of prop boosters, but below average pricing on moneyline wagers. Some books offer solid lines across the board, while others are worth taking a complete pass on.

Luckily, New Jersey bettors have plenty of options. Through our reviews, readers will be able to quickly gauge which sites are worth taking a flyer on, and which ones might only be worth using if there’s some sort of promotion available.

The path toward New Jersey sports betting

New Jersey was the major driving force behind the push for legal sports betting for over a decade. In 2009, the state 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. In response, the NFL, NCAA, and other sports leagues sued to block the state from implementing any such sports betting activity. The leagues won that round and got an injunction in federal court, which stopped New Jersey in its tracks.

The leagues consistently used PASPA to block New Jersey from legalizing sports betting — ostensibly to preserve the “integrity of the game.”  But that argument began to crumble in light of several events:

  • The leagues embracing and investing in daily fantasy sports
  • Leagues holding numerous games and sporting events in Las Vegas
  • Moving pro teams to Las Vegas (the NHL’s Golden Knights and, later, the NFL’s Raiders)
  • Public remarks and writings in favor of legal sports betting by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver

However, they didn’t back down in their fight against sports betting.

“Christie I”

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.

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

The sequel, “Christie II”

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).

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 was that PASPA could be an unconstitutional, Tenth Amendment-based encroachment upon states’ rights. That was New Jersey’s argument. They argued that PASPA forced 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 argued that PASPA simply dictates a policy, but creates no framework whatsoever for states to follow with respect to sports-betting policy. This had wider ramifications for the interplay between federal and state laws and policy.

SCOTUS rules in favor of NJ

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. The high court heard oral argument for the case in December 2017 and ruled in May, with Justice Samuel Alito authoring the majority opinion. The court decided to strike down PASPA completely, ruling it unconstitutional, bringing a major victory to New Jersey and other states hoping to offer legal sports betting.

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 Supreme Court struck down PASPA on May 14, 2018

NJ lawmakers move quickly

In the wake of the Supreme Court decision, New Jersey wasted little time getting its sports betting operation moving.

In fact, that very same day State Sen. Stephen Sweeney introduced S2602, a bill that would see sports betting regulated under the purview of the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement. A mirror bill was introduced in the assembly (A 4111), and it would quickly sail through both the Senate and the Assembly by unanimous votes.

Gov. Phil Murphy penned the bill into law on June 11, saying in a statement, “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.”

Just a few days later the industry was up and running with both Monmouth Park and the Borgata launching retail sports betting operations on June 14, 2018. Online sports betting would follow in early August, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Brett Smiley

Brett Smiley

Brett Smiley is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Sports Handle, which joined forces with the US Bets team in November 2018. He focuses on the sports betting industry and legislation. He's a recreational sports bettor and DFS player himself, focusing on the NFL. In a past life, Smiley practiced commercial litigation in New York City and previously wrote for FOX Sports and SI.com. He lives in New Jersey with his family.

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