New Jersey May Go “Nuclear” In Sports Betting Fight
The state of New Jersey has tried several times to legalize sports betting within their own borders. The process is now several years long, and the state has been met with a shut door at just about every opportunity. After a federal appeals court struck down the 2014 sports betting legalization bill that was passed in the state, they decided to take the fight to the Supreme Court back in October.
Last week, New Jersey took things another step further. They introduced a bill that would allow unregulated sports betting in the state and repeal all prohibition laws against sports betting. The bill is A 4303 and was introduced by Assemblymen Ralph Caputo and John Burzichelli.
Essentially, the bill allows anyone in the state to take sports betting wagers or to open their own betting shop or sportsbook.
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Prospects for Passage Are Low
The bill must first make it out assembly, and that happening is unlikely. It’s not exactly an ideal situation for legislators who will have to deal with the political backlash of passing a bill that may allow “bookies on every corner.”
New Jersey’s motivations for passing sports betting has to do with helping the state’s economy, most notably the casinos in Atlantic City. On Tuesday, voters will be deciding for the first time if they will allow casinos to be built outside of Atlantic City.
The bill doesn’t have much of a chance of passage. Also, it wouldn’t necessarily help the AC casinos (at least not in its current form) because citizens could place bets anywhere in the state. Sports betting and other forms of gambling have always been regulated on the state level, but something is almost certainly going to have to happen federally before the states move forward.
A recent poll shows that nearly half of Americans approve of legalized sports betting. Congress would likely need to amend PAPSA or repeal the law entirely before any state could move forward. The professional sports leagues and the NCAA changing their tune would go a long way in pushing that forward.
Call me crazy, but with the recent decline in NFL TV ratings, wouldn’t Roger Goodell want more people who have a vested interest for tuning into the games?