New Jersey Eyes Sports Betting By Mid-June

New Jersey will be the first or second state to act on its new right to offer sports betting. Per a report from, state lawmakers plan to hold a vote on a bill on June 7.

Because New Jersey has been challenging the constitutionality of PASPA for seven year, some of its gambling operators are expected to offer sports bets immediately after the bill passes the legislature and is signed by the governor. The governor is expected to act right away after the bill hits his desk, according to the report.

The legislation will address how New Jersey taxes the new activity.

According to multiple reports, the Monmouth Park racetrack in Oceanport, N.J. was eyeing legal sports betting this month. However, the legislation moving quickly through Trenton would force the track to delay that. In addition to the racetrack, several casinos in Atlantic City reportedly are prepared to launch sports betting next month. Atlantic City has seven brick-and-mortar casinos, but two will reopen on June 28.

While New Jersey officials are rushing to become the first state outside of Nevada with regulated sports books, it’s possible Delaware could leapfrog the Garden State. For years Delaware has had non-traditional sports betting in the form of parlays, so expanding those offerings wouldn’t be too difficult for the state. Like New Jersey, Delaware has legal online gambling.

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“[T]here are no legal obstacles to moving forward with full-scale sports betting in Delaware, including head-to-head-betting, which permits single-game wagering,” Delaware Attorney General Matt Venn said in a statement in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling. “Under state law passed in 2009, Delaware may authorize betting on professional and collegiate sports, with the exception of games involving Delaware-based teams.”

Delaware could kick off full-scale sports betting days before New Jersey.

Both Delaware and New Jersey are racing toward sports betting because of the publicity being first would create. Former New Jersey State Sen. Ray Lesniak, the man who spearheaded both online poker and sports betting in the state, isn’t pleased New Jersey is waiting until June.

“It’s hard to fathom,” Lesniak told NJ Advance Media. “It would have been a great day for New Jersey, with national media attention. There would have been 30,000 fans at Monmouth Park that day. We’re missing a huge opportunity to promote New Jersey nationwide.”

Lesniak was referring to the racetrack’s previous plans to launch Memorial Day.

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