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Voters in New Jersey are a step closer to deciding whether they can bet on in-state college sports teams or collegiate sporting events taking place in the state.

The New Jersey Senate voted 36-1 on Senate Concurrent Resolution 133 which puts before the voters a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to expand sports betting opportunities. Under state law, as things stand now, sports bets cannot be placed on New Jersey teams or on sporting events, such as March Madness, taking place in the state. 

The measure now goes before the Assembly. Unlike most states with session deadlines, New Jersey’s legislative session will not end until January 2022, so lawmakers have some time to work through the issues. That said, the next general election is in November, so proponents have an incentive to work fast so voters can address the issue in the fall.

Where Sports Betting Stands Now In New Jersey

It is legal to bet on sports in The Garden State, just not in-state collegiate sports. The state was one of the first to legalize sports betting after the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018.  

But the state has not allowed for wagers on some of the biggest teams with a fan base there, the home teams.  This would include Seton Hall and Rutgers. 

New Jersey had the biggest sports handle going into 2021 and has more than 20 online sportsbooks. New York recently legalized sports betting but it’s unclear what effect, if any, its legalization will have on New Jersey. 

IL Following NJ’s Footsteps

In-state college betting is now a key issue in various states. In Illinois, bettors have not been able to place bets on in-state teams since online sports betting launched in June 2020. Now, there’s a bill on the books that would allow in-state college bets in the Land of Lincoln on a two-year trial period. The bill only allows for moneylines, point spreads, and totals. You won’t find any player props in Illinois just yet.

About the Author
Mary M. Shaffrey

Mary M. Shaffrey

Mary Shaffrey is a writer and contributor for Gaming Today with a focus on legislation and political content. Mary 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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