The New Jersey sports betting law that is currently being pondered by the US Supreme Court technically creates an unregulated environment for wagering. But a new bill that surfaced today in New Jersey seeks to fix that.
The bill comes from Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling and Assemblywoman Joann Downey. Assembly Appropriations Chair John Burzichelli is also a co-sponsor. All three are Democrats.
The NJ sports betting bill at a glance
What does the bill do?
- Puts regulation of sports betting under the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement.
- Allows wagering at any Atlantic City casino or racetrack in the state, or via mobile wagering.
- The New Jersey Racing Commission would be involved in approving the operation of a sportsbook at a track or “any agreement between a casino and a racetrack to jointly operate a sports pool.”
- Bans wagering on college events that take place in New Jersey, or on college events involving a New Jersey-based school.
- Gross revenue from sports wagering at casinos and tracks will be subject to an eight percent tax.
- Online sports betting revenue is taxed at a rate of 12.5 percent.
You can read the bill here.
A sports betting integrity fee?
Interestingly, the sponsors included a sports betting integrity fee, some of which can be payable to sports leagues. The pro sports leagues — the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball — and the NCAA, of course, have been preventing New Jersey from offering wagering via the Supreme Court sports betting case.
From the bill, about the “Sports Wagering Integrity Fund”:
There is hereby imposed on all casinos and racetracks in which a sports pool is operated an annual integrity fee equal to the lesser of $7.5 million or 2.5% of that portion of gross gaming revenue attributable to wagers on sports events…
The bill has a mechanism for leagues to receive money from this fund:
…a sports governing body whose sports events are wagered upon in New Jersey casinos or racetracks may seek reimbursement for expenses incurred relative to ensuring the integrity of its sports events with respect to sports wagering operations in New Jersey by submitting a claim for such compensation to the Attorney General. Such claims shall be paid exclusively from available funds in the Sports Wagering Integrity Fund …
They would not automatically get this money, as the state’s own offices on integrity would get first crack at the fund. According to the bill, regulators “shall be authorized to cooperate with investigations by sports governing bodies or law enforcement agencies, including providing or facilitating the provision of account level betting information and audio or video files relating to persons placing wagers.”
The NBA and MLB have been lobbying lawmakers in the state. Interestingly, it appears that NJ lawmakers originally came up with the integrity fee idea. The leagues have taken that idea and run with it in NJ and other states contemplating legal sports wagering.