New Jersey A Step Closer To Betting On In-State College Teams

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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.

About the Author

Mary M. Shaffrey

Mary Shaffrey is an award-winning journalist who co-authored "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Government." She has spent more than 20 years covering government, both at the state and federal level. As a fan of the Baltimore Orioles and the Providence College Friars she feels cursed. Luckily she is a hockey mom too so her spirits aren't totally shot.

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