NJ Legal Sports Betting FAQ
Legal Sports Report

New Jersey Sports Betting

New Jersey now has legal sports betting, with a new law signed in June 2018. The first legal wagers were placed the same month.

NJ is already a forerunner for US gambling; it’s the home of Atlantic City and it has had NJ online casino games for years. It’s also the epicenter for the future of legal sports betting in the United States.

The latest development: The US Supreme Court found that the federal law that bans sports wagering outside of Nevada is unconstitutional. That means that the state — which has been challenging the ban for years — can now offer sports betting.

The new law formally legalizes, regulated and taxes sports wagering in the state. The state’s casinos and racetracks will be able to offer wagering.

The ruling from SCOTUS also means other states may move forward with laws to legalize and regulate sports betting, if they so choose.

The state lost its latest appeal in the summer of 2016. Here’s a closer look at the case and the background of sports betting in New Jersey.

Latest NJ sports betting news

The timeline for NJ sports betting

The first bets took place on Thursday, June 14. Monmouth Park took wagers at its William Hill-branded sportsbook. Borgata followed on the same day at its converted racebook.

Beyond that, other sportsbooks will be up and running later in June or in July, or later in the summer, likely in time for NFL season.

Online sports betting cannot take place in the state until 30 days after the law was enacted. That means the first NJ sports betting apps and sites are likely to launch in July.

NJ sports betting sites and launch dates

Who will be offering sports betting in New Jersey? We anticipate that every casino and racetrack in the site will move to launch when they are able.

Currently, gaming facilities appear to be waiting for the state to implement regulations and a taxation scheme.

Here’s what we know so far:

Casino/trackSportsbook / online sports betting partnerLaunch date for sportsbook | online
Bally'sTBAMid-August | unknown
BorgataTBAJune 14 | unknown
CaesarsTBAMid-August | unknown
Freehold RacewayTBATBA
Golden NuggetSBTechTBA
Hard Rock ACTBATBA
Harrah'sTBAMid-August | unknown
Monmouth ParkWilliam HillJune 14 | unknown
Ocean Resort CasinoWilliam HillJune 28 | unknown
Resorts ACDraftKingsUnknown
The MeadowlandsBetfair USMid-July | September

The New Jersey sports betting case, at a glance

The New Jersey sports betting case got its day in front of the Supreme Court with oral arguments in December of 2017. The state bucked long odds, as SCOTUS hears only a small percentage of the appeals brought before it.

The appeal was lodged in October of 2016. In May of 2017, the US Solicitor General told SCOTUS that it should not take up the appeal.

This spring, a majority of the justices on the nation’s highest court agreed with New Jersey that the federal ban on single-game wagering should be struck down.

You can read the full decision here.

How did we get here?

A rehearing in the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals took place on Feb. 17.

The rehearing was the second time the court heard the case, this time with an “en banc” panel of active judges hearing the case, a rare move for courts of this level. New Jersey lost for the second time in this court, with nine judges siding against the state, and three dissenters.

In August of 2015, a panel of three judges considered the case, and New Jersey lost 2-1. The court vacated that ruling to make way for the rehearing.

The plaintiffs in the case are the major North American sports leagues — the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball — along with the NCAA and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Here is some of the background on and briefs from the Supreme Court appeal:

Here is the link to the SCOTUS case docket.

History of the NJ sports betting case

In 2014, New Jersey had passed a law in which it partially repealed its own sports betting ban, allowing wagering to take place in the state. The leagues then banded together to challenge the law in court and prevent it from going into effect.

At issue at was how New Jersey’s sports betting law intersected with the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, which more or less banned sports betting except in limited instances, most notably Nevada.

The courts, so far, have ruled that the New Jersey law allowing sports betting is a violation of PASPA.

After the August defeat, New Jersey requested an “en banc” rehearing, in which all the active justices would be called upon to consider the case.

That request was not initially dismissed, as the court asked for the plaintiffs in the case — the major professional sports leagues in the US along with the Department of Justice and the NCAA — to respond to New Jersey’s petition. In their response, the NFL and the other leagues noted it believed there was no conflict to address in the wake of a dissenting opinion on the original appeal.

New Jersey, however, got its wish to get the rehearing.

In 2012, New Jersey has passed a law regulating sports betting in the state and the sports leagues filed suit. New Jersey lost this case under PASPA, as well, although a Third Circuit opinion said that the state could decriminalize sports betting, but not regulate it.

NJ Sports Betting FAQ

Here are some questions and answers about NJ sports betting:

When will sports betting be legal in NJ?

It is now. The first legal wagers were taken on June 14, 2018.

Under that law, online sports betting will be live in July.

Who could offer NJ sports betting?

Any casino or racetrack in the state can offer sports betting, pending a green light from state regulator. That includes all of the licensed properties in Atlantic City, as well the three racetracks: Monmouth Park, The Meadlowlands, and Freehold.

Initially, Monmouth Park was the only site set to introduce sports betting when the law was passed initially. But other casinos and tracks are likely to follow in short order.

Where can you place sports bets in Atlantic City?

The answer right now is only at Borgata. But that will change.

It’s likely all of AC’s casinos — there will be nine once Ocean Resort Casino and Hard Rock AC open — will eventually offer some sort of sports betting. This will be at their physical casinos, via a website/mobile app, or both.

Is NJ online sports betting also legal?

New Jersey is currently one of three states that offers some form of online gambling. NJ online casinos and poker sites have been operating since November 2013.

Online sports betting will go live in July.

Will the Supreme Court have an impact on other states?

Now that PASPA has been deemed unconstitutional, it opens the door for any state to legalize and regulate sports betting.

Several states have already passed laws to allow wagering, including Pennsylvania, West Virgnia, Mississippi and New York.

Dustin Gouker
Dustin Gouker - Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.