Is There Legal Online Sports Betting In New Jersey?

Matt Kaufman Updated on January 29, 2018
NJ sports betting online legal
At the time of this writing, (November 2016) sports betting in New Jersey is still illegal.

Although New Jersey has some of the least restrictive gambling laws in the United States, despite the state’s many efforts, it has been unable to legalize sports betting.

In January of 2012, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed legislation that allowed for sports betting in New Jersey. After the law was voted in by a 2-to-1 margin on a voter referendum held during November of 2011, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement issued regulations for sports betting.

The law permitted any of the states eight casinos and four racetracks to take bets on professional sports as well as college sports. Unfortunately, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League, and Major League Baseball all filed a federal lawsuit against the state. The lawsuit was based on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 which banned sports betting in all but four states.

In 2013 a United States District Court Judge ruled in favor of the athletic leagues and prevented New Jersey from issuing sports betting licenses.

What is public sentiment about NJ online sports betting?

A recent poll by Seton Hall University Stated that 63 percent of the population believe that sports betting should be legal, and 68 percent of people that responded to the survey said that sports betting’s legality should be decided at the state level rather than the federal level.

American Gaming Association President Geoff Freeman gave his opinion pertaining to the federal ruling in the New York Times:

“A federal government prohibition has driven an illegal, and occasionally dangerous, sports betting market of at least $150 billion annually,”

Law enforcement, mayors, leaders in sports, fans and many others agree that it’s time for a regulated sports betting marketplace that protects consumers, communities and the integrity of sports we enjoy.”

Where is sports betting legal in the US?

In Nevada, where sports betting is legal, the state grossed $4.2 billion in wagers just last year (2015) and worldwide the number of wagers placed annually on sports betting is estimated at a staggering $150 billion.

All across the United States, the Federal Wire Act made it illegal to place bets over the telephone, and for many years, this act also made it illegal to place bets online. This hasn’t stopped thousands of Americans from disregarding the laws and making sports bets online at many offshore sports betting sites.

The market for online sports betting has always been very large and as long as there are sporting events, it will continue to pull in huge amounts of revenue for those willing to take bets.

What does the future hold for US online sports betting?

Recently, many professional leagues, including the National Basketball Association (NBA), have acknowledged that they are moving towards a time in which sports betting is legal.

We can only hope that in the near future online sports betting will be legal in the state of New Jersey and players will be able to log onto to VirginCasino.com or Betfair.com and place bets on the outcome of their favorite sports matches, but for the time being, this is not the case.

Legal sports betting in the state of New Jersey would take gambling out of the hands of illegal book makers and offshore gambling websites. The much-needed revenue legal sports gambling would bring to the state of New Jersey could do great things for the economy.

Unfortunately, current legislation prevents gamblers living within the United States from placing legitimate bets on their favorite sports teams.

Starting as early as 2017, formal lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill may begin for the expansion of legalized sports betting, but for the time being, sports betting in New Jersey will remain in the hands of illegal bookmakers.

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