Legal and regulated sports betting is now live in New Jersey! Casinos, racetracks, and online gambling sites will soon have sportsbooks operational. In fact, a few already do.
The state has been trying to make it a reality since 2011. After a series of failed appeals at different levels, in the summer of 2017, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear the NJ sports betting case. On May 14, 2018, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was no more, and states could start legalizing sports betting if they so chose.
Delaware was the first to follow Nevada into legal sports betting, as New Jersey needed to finalize regulations before it could officially launch. After a marathon run in the state legislature and a short wait for Gov. Phil Murphy to sign the bill into law, NJ sports betting was off and running.
Monmouth Park took the first sports bets in New Jersey on June 14, followed by Borgata in Atlantic City just a half hour later.
NJ online sports betting sites and sportsbooks
New Jersey racetracks and Atlantic City casinos are allowed to open up live sportsbooks almost immediately.
New Jersey has three operational racetracks. This includes:
- Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport
- Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford
- Freehold Raceway in Freehold
A provision will also allow the former Atlantic City Race Course in Hamilton to offer sports betting, should that facility ever reopen.
There are nine casinos operating in Atlantic City, including:
- Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino
- Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
- Caesars Atlantic City Hotel & Casino
- Golden Nugget Atlantic City
- Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City
- Resorts Casino Hotel
- Tropicana Casino and Resort
- Ocean Resort Casino
- Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City
Currently, there are three open sportsbooks in the Garden State and one pending. NJ online sports betting must wait 30 days before launch:
|Casino/Racetrack||Sports Betting Partner||Physical Sportsbook?||Online Sportsbook?||Online Launch Date?|
|Monmouth Park||William Hill||Opened June 14||Likely||Unknown|
|Borgata AC||IGT||Opened June 14||Likely||Unknown|
|Ocean Resort Casino||William Hill||Opened June 28||Likely||Unknown|
|Meadowlands||Betfair/FanDuel||To open July 14||Likely||Unknown|
New Jersey racetracks and sportsbooks
Here is a brief summary of each operational racetrack in New Jersey and their sportsbook status as of July 2, 2018:
Monmouth Park Racetrack
Monmouth Park Racetrack was the first to accept legal sports bets in New Jersey when its William Hill sportsbook officially opened at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 14. Murphy placed the first bet in the state.
William Hill became the racetrack’s exclusive sports betting provider in 2013. The company paid $1 million for this right and agreed to an equal split of all future sports betting revenue.
The William Hill Race & Sports Bar
Monmouth Park used the cash to turn a grandstand cafeteria into the William Hill Race & Sports Bar with the idea it would one day be converted into a full Las Vegas-style sportsbook.
A series of betting windows under the grandstand were renovated into the Monmouth Park Sports Book By William Hill where the first bets were taken.
William Hill has also said it will pour another $5 million into the property to build a sportsbook with space for up to 5,000 gamblers.
In the meantime, the Monmouth Park Sport Book By William Hill will take bets:
- 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Mondays thru Thursdays
- 10 to 2 a.m. Fridays
- 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturdays
- 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sundays
In the same week the New Jersey Legislature legalized sports, Betfair US announced it had reached an agreement to launch both live and mobile sports betting at the Meadowlands.
The Meadowlands originally planned to open its sportsbook on July 15, but changed its plans two weeks later. The sportsbook will open July 14.
Betfair US also recently announced plans to combine operations with daily fantasy sports operator FanDuel. FanDuel will become the company’s primary US brand. Such a move could mean construction of a FanDuel-branded sportsbook at Meadowlands Racetrack before long.
Freehold Raceway is owned and operated by Penn National Gaming.
Unlike the other two operating horse racing facilities in the state, Freehold has yet to announce any kind of agreement with a sports betting operator.
However, Penn National Gaming officials have publicly stated they look forward to accepting bets on sports at Freehold. In fact, they’ve gone on record saying sports betting could keep the track viable in the face of dwindling interest in horse racing itself.
At this point, it’s unclear exactly what its next steps are.
Atlantic City sportsbooks
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
In November 2017, MGM Resorts announced plans to build a $7 million sportsbook at its Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. For now, Borgata renamed its existing horse race betting facility The Race & Sports Book. It launched sports betting on June 14 at 11 a.m.
In the meantime, the $7 million sportsbook is in the final design stages.
The Borgata sportsbook is open daily at 11 a.m. Times are subject to change based on sports programming.
Ocean Resort Casino
Ocean Resort Casino officially opened its doors on June 28, and with it came the first sportsbook on the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
At the end of May, Ocean Resort Casino announced it had entered into a partnership with William Hill to build what they say will be the best sportsbook in Atlantic City.
The 7,500-square-foot sportsbook is being built right in the center of the casino floor. It will feature a bar, video viewing, and live in-game betting odds. For now, a temporary sportsbook is up and running.
Ocean Resort Casino also inked a deal with online gaming software provider GAN to launch an online casino website. GAN recently partnered with sports betting software provider SBTech to introduce SBTech’s sports betting technology to GAN’s online gambling platform.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City
Hard Rock Atlantic City is the re-branded renovated Trump Taj Mahal property that opened June 28 alongside Ocean Resort.
On July 3, after hinting at a sports betting partnership at the opening day press conference, it was reported that Hard Rock and bet365 had formed a partnership. The news came from a public letter at the DGE.
With the news, it is now clear Hard Rock has every intention of joining the market, and with a heavy hitter at the helm. Bet365 is a multibillion-dollar sports betting operation in Europe. This would be its first foray into the US sports betting market.
Resorts Casino Hotel
Resorts Casino Hotel inked a deal in early June with daily fantasy sports operator DraftKings to offer a New Jersey mobile and online sports betting product. This was followed in July with the news that Resorts had also partnered with SBTech.
The internet gaming room on the property will reportedly house a live sportsbook though a launch date is unknown.
Golden Nugget Atlantic City
Golden Nugget won’t be taking bets on NBA games as per conditions in the legislation. The conditions are related to Texas billionaire Tilman Fertitta’s ownership of the casino and the NBA’s Houston Rockets. However, Golden Nugget has plans to offer sports betting by the time the 2018-2019 NFL season kicks off, both online and off.
Additionally, horse racing giant Churchill Downs reached a deal with online sports betting technology company SBTech in early 2018 to run online gambling and sports betting operations under the Golden Nugget NJ online gambling license.
Bally’s, Caesars, and Harrah’s
The three Caesars Entertainment properties in Atlantic City have yet to lay out plans for sports betting in New Jersey but reports indicate sportsbooks are imminent.
The company runs a Nevada mobile sports betting app. Plus, it has live sportsbooks at a number of its Bally’s, Caesars, and Harrah’s branded properties in Reno, Laughlin, and Las Vegas.
Tropicana Casino and Resort
Tropicana Atlantic City was one of seven casinos sold to Gaming and Leisure Properties in early 2018. As a part of the deal, Nevada-based Eldorado Resorts will take on a lease of the property and manage operations.
William Hill has a long-standing partnership with Eldorado Resorts, running its many Nevada sportsbook operations. William Hill already has two sportsbooks open in New Jersey. A third eventually opening at Tropicana doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch.
FAQ on the NJ sports betting law
Who can place a bet and what sports can be bet on?
Gamblers in New Jersey must be 21 or older in order to make a bet anywhere in the state.
The bill also includes language preventing athletes, coaches, referees, and any other persons with potential influence or access to non-public information regarding sporting events, from making bets on games overseen by the league in which they participate.
Additionally, New Jersey sportsbooks are prohibited from taking bets on high school sports or collegiate athletics taking place in the state or involving New Jersey teams.
What if a casino owns a team franchise?
Clauses were also included in the new law to allow MGM, Caesars, and Golden Nugget properties to open sportsbooks, despite each having some ownership stake in a professional sports team.
The bill prohibits casino operators who own a stake of 10 percent or more in a sports franchise from offering sports betting. For example, since Apollo Capital Management, a private equity firm co-founded by Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils owner Joshua Harris, owns less than 10 percent of Caesars Entertainment, its Atlantic City casino properties have been authorized to open sportsbooks.
Casino operators also qualify for a waiver to this provision if the sports franchise is worth less than one percent of the operator’s total business.
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa owner MGM Resorts owns the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces. However, it qualifies for this waiver because the franchise is worth less than one percent of MGM. MGM reported $10.8 billion in net revenue in 2017.
Finally, a last-minute change also allows the Golden Nugget to move forward with a sportsbook on one condition. Owner Tilman Fertitta bought the NBA’s Houston Rockets for $2.2 billion in 2017. Parent company Landry’s had revenues of approximately $3.4 billion in 2017, leaving Golden Nugget unfit for both waivers.
The last-minute change will allow Golden Nugget to offer bets on all sports except NBA basketball. It is clear to take bets on college basketball.
What are the tax rates for sports betting?
The law sets the tax rate for racetrack sportsbook operations at 8.5 percent. Plus, an additional 1.25 percent payment to be split among each track’s host community and county where it operates.
Casinos will also be forced to pay an 8.5 percent tax on sportsbook revenues. Plus, an additional 1.25 percent payment. The difference being the additional 1.25 percent payment for casinos will go to help market Atlantic City.
Finally, the bill authorizes online sports betting out of licensed casinos and racetracks, beginning 30 days after it becomes a law. The bill sets the tax rate for online sportsbook operations at 13 percent.
Who oversees the NJ sports betting market?
The new law authorizes the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement and New Jersey Racing Commission to issue emergency regulations to govern sports betting in the state. These regulations are in effect for a period of up to 270 days and allow licensed casinos and racetracks to apply for what’s called a transactional waiver.
The waiver allows these organizations to commence sports betting operations immediately.
New Jersey sport bets
The new law opens up single-game wagering in New Jersey. Single-game wagering refers to a variety of different wagers, including but not limited to:
- Point spread betting (betting on set point spread lines)
- Moneyline betting (betting with varying odds)
- Parlay betting (placing multiple single-game wagers in a single bet)
The betting options at Monmouth Park feature most current or future sporting events, including but not limited to:
- Major League Baseball games
- The World Cup (soccer)
- The US Open (golf)
- UFC fights
- Wimbledon (tennis)
- National Football League futures