Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Sports betting bills sent to N.J. governor for approval

Sports betting bills sent to N.J. governor for approval

In New Jersey, the US unit of UK-based William Hill PLC has for years been preparing sports books at Monmouth Park Racetrack.

The amount of money that the state can expect to reap from sports betting is unclear.

Dermot Smurfit, chief executive of GAN, said: "Online sports betting "go-live" preparations are well advanced and we remain confident in launching as soon as reasonably possible in H2".

Dover Downs casino workers took in 36 bets within the first 20 minutes of legal wagering.

In the bill that cleared both the state Senate and Assembly, lawmakers removed a provision that would have penalized anyone who opened a sports betting operation before Murphy signs the measure into law.

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While some top lawmakers said they expected Monmouth Park to begin taking bets Friday - with or without the governor's blessing - others said they expected Murphy to consider the bill during the weekend before acting.

DE was the first state to legalize full-scale sports betting, including single-game wagers, since the Supreme Court's decision that states, not the federal government, should determine whether it is legal.

The commission's letter was sent to Dennis Drazin, Monmouth Park's operator, and the general managers of Freehold Raceway and New Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford.

The legislation heads to the desk of Gov. Phil Murphy.

The state of New Jersey led the legal battle against various sports leagues that lasted six years before the Supreme Court's ruling on May 14, which deemed the federal ban on state-sponsored sports betting - via the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 - to be unconstitutional.

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"I just turned 21, so I can finally do it", Monmouth County resident Chris Ryan said.

Delaware, which already had limited sports wagers, rolled out full-scale betting on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, the Assembly's first order of business was tacking on an amendment that would allow the Atlantic City Golden Nugget, which is owned by Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, to have sports betting on all leagues except for the National Basketball Association. Internet betting would begin 30 days after the rest of the law takes effect.

The projection is based on an assumption that 28 percent of the state's population will bet on sports and on the 8.5 percent tax rate on gross revenues from in-person wagering. A clause to allow the Golden Nugget to participate was added to the bill Thursday.

A last-minute change allowed the Golden Nugget to take sports bets, despite the fact that its owner, Texas Billionaire Tilman Fertitta, also owns the NBA's Houston Rockets.

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West Virginia also passed a sports betting law before the Supreme Court decision, and officials there hope to have sports betting when football season kicks off.

But that could change by the end of the day on Friday, depending on whether casinos and racetracks are willing to move on their own and ignore the state's Democratic governor, who has given no indication of when he might act on the bill. He previously voiced support for sports betting before the details of an actual bill were written.

Now, any state is free to adopt laws legalizing it.

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