NJ College Sports Betting Bill – Now ‘All College Sports’

A bill calling for a state wide referendum in New Jersey has been amended to make provisions for ‘all college sports betting’, significantly expanding the scope of the bill originally lodged with lawmakers to lift New Jersey’s current college sports betting options.

Current state law prohibits betting on college games played anywhere in New Jersey, and in addition, also bans betting on games played out of a state involving New Jersey teams. Following sections of the NCAA ‘March Madness’ college basketball tournament being awarded to the Garden State for the 2025 version, New Jersey’s lawmakers quickly moved to create a bill that would allow eligible New Jersey sports bettors to bet on games in the 2025 March Madness regionals.

However, once lawmakers saw the limitations of the original proposal, they have since voted to expand the legislation to include ‘all college sports betting’. State Senator Paul Sarlo, who proposed the original legislation said of the change when he told Associated Press;

“We got the blessing of the NCAA and the Attorney General’s Office and a lot of the teams so we figured why not just go for the whole thing?” Sarlo said.

The measure has already been approved by the Senate Budget Committee, the first of several steps required before it can be placed on next year’s General Election ballot.

New Jersey’s Sports Betting Legislation a Work in Progress

New Jersey residents and sports bettors should be proud of the way that the Garden State’s sports betting legislation remains to be a work in progress and that the state’s lawmakers are unafraid to change it when they realize it requires adaptation.

The original New Jersey college sports betting bill was purposely aimed at being able to generate sports betting revenue, not so much as sports bettors being able to place wagers on a regular season match between Seton Hall and Rutgers, but to take advantage of major sporting tournaments and college events coming to the state, like regional Bowl games or March Madness in 2025. However, once lawmakers saw the evidence of what was proposed, they decided to expand the proposed legislation to include all college games.

The earliest versions of New Jersey sports betting legislation in 2018 were more restrictive than what is in place now, and have evolved to become more relaxed over time. For example, when first released, the laws indicated that anyone who owned at least 10% of a sports team would not be allowed to accept wagers on that sport, which affected the state’s Golden Nugget online and land-based sportsbook.

Tilman Fertitta, the co-Golden Nugget and Houston Rockets owner, successfully lobbied the legislature to change the bill to was forbidding the Golden Nugget to accept wagers on NBA games.

However, the Garden State’s lawmakers drafted and passed a compromise amendment to the law and a new bill was passed to permit the Golden Nugget to accept wagers on NBA basketball, but not on any game featuring the Rockets.

NJ’s Sports Betting Laws continue to evolve with eSports betting legislation

 It seems that the New Jersey sports betting legislation has been purpose-built to being able to amend swiftly and quickly if need be. The latest amendment may well see New Jersey’s sports betting laws adapted again to fit eSports betting legalization in their jurisdiction. eSports wagering legislation passed New Jersey’s lower house in September and only has to pass the State Senate to become law.

While it will be a slightly different process to okay general college sports betting with a state wide referendum, hats off to the State’s lawmakers who are simply making it easier for people like you and me to do what we love – bet on sports.

 

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