Beaches. Diners. Turnpike. Gambling.
Those four things come to mind when one thinks of New Jersey. On Wednesday, a top state Assembly committee voted to put sports betting on in-state college teams, a key component of gambling, on the ballot for residents to approve or not.
The measure, Senate Concurrent Resolution 133, now goes before the full Assembly.
A similar measure passed the Senate earlier this month. If the Assembly passes it, and Governor Phil Murphy signs it, as expected, Garden State residents would see the question on the ballot on the next general election ballot.
While New Jersey has a full-time legislature — meaning the session doesn’t have a closing date — lawmakers have an incentive to work fast. New Jersey has a general election in November, so if approved by the voters in the fall, bets would be legal on Rutgers, Seton Hall, or any other in-state team, come 2022.
Where Sports Betting Stands In New Jersey
In many ways, New Jersey has led the way on sports betting and gambling. It was one of the first states to approve sports betting after the Supreme Court overturned a prohibition on the practice in 2018. But state law prohibits bets on in-state college athletics or on collegiate tournaments taking place in the state.
The action by the state Senate panel came on the same day the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released figures for May sports betting in the state. According to DGE, New Jersey saw nearly $298 million in gross revenue as a result of sports wagering.
Illinois Takes A Different Path
Illinois, which launched legal sports betting in 2020, also prohibits betting on in-state college teams. Recent efforts to lift that ban recently failed, however, leaving Illinois bettors without a way to wager on their favorite college teams.