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After a legal battle stretching back nearly a decade, New Jersey has won the right to offer regulated sports betting.

The Garden State officially launched legal sports betting June 14, 2018, three days after Gov. Phil Murphy signed sports betting legislation into law.

Gov. Murphy made the first wager in the state at Monmouth Park Racetrack in North Jersey. The Borgata in Atlantic City opened its sportsbook to patrons 30 minutes later.

Many other sportsbooks are expected to launch in the coming weeks and months.

How did we get here? New Jersey has been fighting for the ability to legalize and regulate sports betting since 2012. The state tried multiple ways to circumvent the federal ban on state-regulated sports betting (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or PASPA) and each time was blocked by the sports leagues challenging those attempts in court. Finally, in 2017, New Jersey — to the surprise of many observers — was granted a request for its case to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the case in late 2017 and considered the case for the next few months. While the case is on its face about sports betting, there are myriad other implications for the relationship between the state and the federal government arising out of the case. That’s one of the reasons the court heard the case in the first place, and one of the reasons why the decision took so long to make.

But now, after fighting a battle for most of the current decade, one that many observers thought to be hopeless, regulated, legal sports betting is alive in New Jersey.

New Jersey sports betting FAQ

Is legal sports betting in New Jersey available?

After a sports betting bill moved through the New Jersey legislature, Gov. Phil Murphy signed the bill into law June 11, 2018. The first legal wager took place at Monmouth Park on June 14, and several properties have followed: Borgata, Ocean Resort and Meadowlands. Anyone 21 years and older are allowed to place legal wagers at these licensed sportsbooks.

Who will offer sports betting?

Legal sports betting in New Jersey is ultimately controlled by the same license holders who currently offer casino gambling or horse race betting in the state, including the properties mentioned above that already launched sportsbooks. Note: these license holders may as well partner with other brands, as is the case with New Jersey’s legal online casino sites.

What can I place wagers?

You can expect a lineup for NJ’s legal sports betting sites that closely match the kinds of gambling you can do when you’re at a Las Vegas sportsbook. Many of Atlantic City’s casinos already operate sportsbooks in Las Vegas, so the experience will be very familiar to those who have bet at Caesars in Las Vegas or MGM. Those are just two of the operators who have existing operations in other jurisdictions, meaning they already have a blueprint in place for offering legal, regulated sports betting in New Jersey.

Why should I choose legal sports betting?

The opportunity to bet at legal, regulated sportsbooks is one that consumers should take seriously. You never know what you’re getting when betting illegally, while legal sportsbooks in New Jersey offer the safety and security of knowing that your details are protected and that you’ll be paid when you win. We may find that many illegal sports betting sites stop serving the New Jersey market; which is what happened after NJ legalized online casino and poker games.

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