On May 14, the US Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) and established sports betting as a right of each individual state.
A month and a signed regulatory bill later, Gov. Phil Murphy placed the first sports bet in New Jersey at Monmouth Park and kicked off a new era of sports betting in the Garden State.
Where can I bet on sports in New Jersey?
At present, there are three locations where you can bet on sports in New Jersey. They are Monmouth Park Racetrack, the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, and as of June 28, Ocean Resort Casino.
Monmouth Park Racetrack
Monmouth Park Racetrack was the first location in New Jersey to accept wagers on sports. Its acceptance of Murphy’s bet on June 14 beat Borgata to the betting window by a half hour.
William Hill, the US arm of the British sports betting giant, operates Monmouth Park’s sportsbook. In a testament to William Hill’s business acumen, the company entered into a partnership with the racetrack back in 2013.
It also spent several millions to convert the Monmouth Park cafeteria into the Monmouth Park Sports Book by William Hill. Though the facility acted as a glorified sports bar for several years, it is now realizing its true function on a daily basis.
The sportsbook is open seven days a week. Its hours of operation are typically 10 a.m. EST to 1 a.m. EST, with longer hours on the weekends.
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
Borgata began accepting sports wagers June 14, a half hour after Monmouth Park begin its service. For the time being, players will use the former racebook for sports and race betting.
However, Borgata should receive an upgrade from its parent company, MGM Resorts International, in the very near future. MGM announced plans to build a $7 million sportsbook in November 2017, and there are no indications that those plans have changed.
Borgata is using IGT‘s platform to run its sportsbook operations. IGT’s status as a leading gaming software company meant that its solution was well-suited for Borgata’s needs.
Borgata’s sportsbook is open at 11 a.m. EST every day. There are 100 individual observation carrels and 10 betting windows available for players to wager in comfort.
Ocean Resort Casino
Ocean Resort opened its doors on June 28 to great fanfare. The former Revel kicked off its festivities with blessings from owner Bruce Deifik and actor Mark Wahlberg, whose Wahlburgers franchise will open a location inside the new casino.
Ocean Resort began accepting sports wagers along with all other types of betting. William Hill will also operate the sportsbook in this location.
However, the completed permanent sportsbook is still under construction. Bettors will make use of a temporary facility for the next six weeks.
What are the sportsbook operators?
Sports betting is a unique proposition for casinos. If a sportsbook runs correctly, it can be immensely profitable without much risk.
However, there are so many variables and so much complexity to accurately setting lines and accepting sports wagers. As such, many casinos have decided to outsource their sportsbook operations to companies who specialize in the practice.
In a state such as Nevada, where sports betting has occurred for many years, it is possible for some of the larger casinos to run their own sportsbooks successfully. In a new market like New Jersey, subject matter experts on sportsbook operations are scarce, so the existing locations would rather partner with an international sports betting company such as William Hill.
Here are the official operators for sportsbooks or potential sportsbooks in New Jersey so far:
- IGT (Borgata)
- William Hill (Ocean Resort, Monmouth)
- DraftKings (Resorts)
- SBTech (Resorts)
- Betfair/FanDuel (Meadowlands)
The other Atlantic City casinos and NJ racetracks undoubtedly have sports betting on their minds. Here are all the gambling locations in New Jersey and the status of their endeavors into sports wagers:
|NJ Casino/Racetrack||Sports Betting Partner||Physical Sportsbook||Launch Date?||Online Sportsbook||Launch Date?|
|Monmouth Park||William Hill US||Yes||Open||Probably||Unknown|
|Ocean Resort Casino||William Hill US||Yes||Open||Probably||Unknown|
|Hard Rock Atlantic City||bet365||Probably||Unknown||Probably||Unknown|
*Borgata had a potential conflict of interest because its parent, MGM Resorts, owns the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces. However, because the ownership of the team is less than 1% of MGM’s holdings, sports betting is permitted at its properties.
**Golden Nugget’s sportsbook, whenever it opens, will not be able to accept wagers on the NBA. The company has a conflict of interest due to owner Tilman Fertitta’s ownership of the Houston Rockets.
What sports can I bet on in New Jersey?
Pretty much anything. Sports offered for wagering include:
- National Football League
- Major League Baseball
- National Basketball Association
- National Hockey League
- WTA Tennis
- MLS and World Cup Soccer
- UFC and other mixed martial arts
- PGA and LPGA Golf
What kinds of bets can I make?
The typical types of bets are available in New Jersey sportsbooks. You can make bets such as:
- Point spreads
When will the online sports betting sites launch?
Sometime after July 11. According to the regulations Murphy signed into law, casinos and racetracks must wait 30 days after the signing of the bill to apply for an online betting license.
The New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement will then have to review and approve the applications. That process will take some amount of time, although the DGE will likely not waste time since there is such excitement statewide about PASPA’s repeal.
After the approval, the individual casinos/racetracks will still have to bring their online sportsbooks to the market. However, it is extremely likely that the product design is already well underway.
So, here are the online providers that we know about:
- DraftKings: partnered with Resorts Atlantic City
- FanDuel: partnered with The Meadowlands through Paddy Power Betfair
What kinds of bets am I not allowed to make?
New Jersey has a specific group of sporting events that regulations forbid wagering. Most of these regulations are to protect athletic integrity or guard against conflicts of interest. They are:
- Wagering upon high school sports of any kind is prohibited. This rule is likely to be universal in any state with sports betting.
- There is no betting on collegiate events taking place inside the borders of New Jersey. This rule does not discriminate about the teams playing — even games where New Jersey is neutral ground fall under this rule.
- Bettors may not wager on collegiate events involving New Jersey colleges or universities. There can be no betting on these teams, even if the game takes place outside of New Jersey.
- Players, coaches, trainers, and other related personnel in a particular sport may not bet upon that sport in New Jersey.
Bottom line: Sports bettors around the country had Christmas come early. Nowhere is that more apparent than in New Jersey, which is poised for a long-overdue resurgence. With a new avenue of gambling and two new casinos, the Garden State is a gaming destination once again.
How long has New Jersey been trying to legalize sports betting?
The state first passed a bill legalizing sports wagering at racetracks and casinos in the Garden State in 2011. Professional and amateur sports leagues objected and took the state to court. Ultimately, the leagues were successful in having New Jersey’s first sports betting law struck down.
The state appealed but failed. It tried again in 2014, passing a second sports betting law. However, the leagues took them to court again and were successful in having New Jersey’s second sports betting law struck down.
The state’s appeals failed again until in the summer of 2017, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. On May 14, 2018, the Supreme Court released a decision declaring the federal ban on sports betting (PASPA) unconstitutional. That opened the door for New Jersey and all 50 states to legalize sports betting inside their borders.
Was New Jersey the first state outside of Nevada to legalize sports betting?
No. Considering all the work it did fighting to legalize sports betting, New Jersey hoped it could be first, but it was not to be. The first state outside Nevada to offer full-scale legal and regulated sports gambling was Delaware.
Delaware launched full-scale sportsbook operations at its three racetrack casinos on June 5, 2018. The state determined it already had all the necessary laws and regulations in place to implement full-scale sports betting.
Delaware’s sports betting product operates under the direction of the state lottery.