How Does Legalizing Sports Betting Work?
In April 2017, the Garden State became the first state in the United States to legalise sports betting. The Law was approved by voters and went into effect on July 1, 2017.
The law allows for “sports betting events”, which means that bookmakers can now operate in New Jersey and offer odds on a range of sports and esports (electronic sports). The law also applies to online gaming operators that want to offer real-money wagers to New Jersey residents. This means that, going forward, residents in New Jersey will be able to place wagers on pretty much any sporting event that is available to be bet on, including football, basketball, and baseball. However, the law specifically states that it does not legalize sports betting on individual games or in-play betting.
The law sets a limit of $2 on wagers placed on hockey, football, and basketball. It also restricts the number of bets that can be placed per week and per account. The State Board of Education, which regulates the education system in New Jersey, must approve any application for a sports betting event. So, in reality, the law is quite restrictive and not as open as the proponents of legalisation would have you believe. But, in terms of providing a legal structure for sports betting in New Jersey, the legislation represents a significant step forward.
What Does This Mean for Sports Betting in the U.S.?
Well, it means that New Jersey is now the 36th state to offer some form of legal betting on sports. There is still no national law on the matter, and so each state decides for themselves what to allow or not allow. But, thanks to the efforts of the anti-trust division of the U.S. Department of Justice, the matter is finally becoming somewhat settled.
Earlier this year, the DOJ filed a lawsuit against the NCAA, arguing that the organization’s rules banning sports betting were illegal prohibitions on interstate commerce. The lawsuit also challenges the NCAA’s assertion of its authority over college sports, demanding that the association stop restricting states’ rights to regulate sports betting.
It is still too soon to tell what will happen as a result of the lawsuit, but there are several indications that it could have a positive impact on the future of sports betting in the United States. The lawsuit is likely to force the issue of whether or not the NCAA has the right to regulate college sports and collect its annual $13.7 billion revenue stream. Given that only around 10% of that revenue is actually invested in sports, the association has strong arguments to justify its continued existence.
However, without the association’s strict rules and extensive control over college sports, the future of sports betting looks rather rosy. Several states have been battling the NCAA over this issue for years, and so far, the anti-trust division of the DOJ has sided with the states. It’s now up to the courts to decide whether or not the NCAA has the right to continue restricting sports betting.
Will Legalizing Sports Betting Lead to More People Waging Sports Betting?
It’s certainly possible. After all, New Jersey is home to the famous Monmouth Park Racetrack & Casino. The facility was originally built in 1899, and it has always been a popular place for residents and visitors to wager on horses. Since the inception of the internet, it has been difficult for state-based bookmakers to prevent people from placing bets from other states. But, thanks to the recent legalization of sports betting in New Jersey, the situation may finally be changing.
The facilities in New Jersey may struggle to keep up with demand. After years of limited growth, the industry is expected to boom as more people look for places to wager. In fact, many industry experts predict that there will be a 40% increase in wagers placed in the state of New Jersey this year alone. And, given the option of betting online, many people are expected to follow suit and place wagers from the comforts of their home.
New Jersey has always been associated with gambling and tourism. And so, it seems only natural that the state would embrace sports betting and the opportunity to make some easy money. But, whether or not this will prove to be the case is yet to be determined. Only time will tell.