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

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

The first wager in the state was made by Gov. Murphy 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 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, a battle that many observers thought to be hopeless, regulated, legal sports betting will be coming to New Jersey.

NJ Sports Betting FAQ

Is legal sports betting in New Jersey available?

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

Who will offer sports betting?

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

What can I bet on?

You can expect a lineup for NJ’s legal sports betting sites that closely matches the kinds of betting that you can do when you’re at a Las Vegas sportsbook. In fact, 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 at 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 exactly what you’re getting when betting illegally, while legal sportsbooks in NJ offer the safety and security of knowing that your personal details are protected and that you’ll be paid when you win. Those are just two of the primary advantages of choosing NJ’s legal sports betting sites over illegal sports betting sites. We may also find in the coming weeks that many illegal sports betting sites stop serving the NJ market; that happened after NJ legalized online casino and poker games, and there’s a good chance it could happen again.

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