Houghtaling and Downey Bill Authorizing Sports Betting Clears Assembly Committee

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey authorizing casinos in Atlantic City, racetracks and former racetracks to conduct wagering on professional and collegiate sport or athletic events cleared the Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee on Monday.

“This is about fairness, freedom, job creation and economic development,” said Assemblyman Houghtaling. “Places like Monmouth Park and Freehold Racetrack have been left in the dark for far too long. Finally, this will no longer be the case.”

Under the bill (A-4111) adults 21 years of age or older will be allowed to place wagers in-person at a sports wagering lounge located at a casino or racetrack or via the internet.

According to the bill, the Division of Gaming Enforcement will have responsibility for licensing and will promulgate sports gaming regulations and the New Jersey Racing Commission would be involved in approving the operation of a sports pool at a racetrack and any agreement between a casino and a racetrack to jointly operate a sports pool.

“There will be ample benefits to legal sports wagering in New Jersey,” said Assemblywoman Downey. “We will bring many jobs to Monmouth County, we will modernize our gaming industry, we will increase tourism, and we will be able to increase revenue for our state budget, and subsequently pay for vital programs which help our families.”

The bill comes following the United States Supreme Court Decision of Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), in which New Jersey took the NCAA to court to challenge the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act which had banned state-authorized sports gambling with the exception of Nevada. The Supreme Court voted on May 14 by a 6-3 decision to strike down the ban, thereby legalizing sports betting and paving the way for this bill.

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