We’re A Week From Action On NJ Sports Betting Bill As Assembly Sets Committee Date

The Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee will debate a proposed bill to regulate sports betting on June 4, according to sources in the New Jersey Legislature.

Where we’re at with NJ sports betting

Bill A 3911 has been active for most of the month as the Garden State looks to open sportsbooks at casinos and racetracks, as well as online NJ sports betting.

The Assembly bill was introduced a week before the US Supreme Court ruled in New Jersey’s favor and struck down PAPSA, the 1992 federal legislation that blocked the expansion of single-game wagering beyond Nevada.

The state Senate is also considering a bill introduced by Sen. Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester), the president of that chamber.

Caputo pushing bill

A 3911, proposed by six members of the Assembly, is currently being vetted by the Democratic leadership in Trenton and is expected to come before Asm. Ralph Caputo’s (D-Essex) committee.

Should the bill advance, the first voting session to approve it will be June 7, a date also considered for Sweeney’s proposed legislation.

“For far too long, New Jersey, a mecca of legalized casino gaming, has been left in the shadows with regards to this issue, being held hostage to antiquated and unconstitutional federal law,” Caputo said in a statement. “There are ample benefits to having legal sports gaming in our state, and I am excited to push forward to bring more people and revenue to our racetracks and Atlantic City casinos.”

“Now, with this long-overdue decision being made, it is time to make New Jersey the legal sports gaming hub in the country,” Caputo continued. “I look forward to working with others in the legislature and Gov. Murphy’s administration to make this become a reality.”

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What’s next for the NJ sports betting bill?

These coordinated efforts in the Assembly and Senate serve the common goal of passing legislation before lawmakers recess at the end of June.

Sweeney previously threatened to exclude any operators who attempted to open books before the new legislation passed. Monmouth Park has said previously it would be open for sports wagers today, but that didn’t happen.

Sweeney also has said that casinos with interest in pro sports franchises should not be allowed to take wagers. Such a provision could affect Borgata, Golden Nugget, and the three Caesars-owned properties.

Physical sportsbooks in New Jersey could be open for the World Cup, which starts in June. New Jersey is just one of several states, such as Connecticut and New York, still considering sports betting legislation this year.

The US Senate has also discussed drafting new federal legislation, which has earned support from major sports organizations such as the NFL, NCAA and the NBA.

About the Author

Marco Cerino

Marco Cerino is a 2007 graduate from the University of Pennsylvania and a 2017 graduate from the Masters program at Temple University. A freelance writer based in South Jersey, he's worked in sports at the minor and major league levels. He now covers the NJ online gambling industry.