New Jersey Considers College Sports Betting Expansion
New Jersey voters may get the chance to approve betting on college sports. A proposed ballot question for 2021 would give sports fans the chance to wager on home teams like the Big Ten’s Rutgers.
A bill before the New Jersey legislature would ask voters to approve expanding sports betting on college sports. It would include New Jersey teams like the Big Ten’s Rutgers and other college teams in the state.
When introduced, the bill would have asked voters to approve betting only on New Jersey college playoff or championship games. It was expanded to include major sporting events like NCAA basketball championship, set for a regional tip-off at Newark’s Prudential Center in 2025, and bowl games at MetLife Stadium, home of the NFL’s New York Jets and Giants. The bill has been approved by the State Senate Budget Committee, advancing it towards a vote in the legislature.
With New Jersey’s sports betting market growing at a record pace, current restrictions on college sports are seen as a hindrance to future revenues—always a persuasive argument for lawmakers, and more persuasive still given the current economic crunch.
The state also hopes to attract more collegiate playoffs and championship sports to its arenas, such as March Madness.
State Senator Paul Sarlo, a North Jersey Democrat who represents a district that includes MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, told the Associated Press that lawmakers decided to move forward with a more sweeping college sports betting bill.
In the coming months, more states are expected to expand legal online betting opportunities. Look to iGamingPlayer.com for all the news as it breaks!
“We have reached out to Seton Hall, we have reached out to Rutgers, we have reached out to some of the other Division 1 programs where they play the game and there is a line,” Sarlo told the Associated Press. “We have sent it to the Attorney General’s Office, so everyone has green-lighted us to make this constitutional amendment. … We figured, why not just go for the whole thing?”
The legislation would eliminate a restriction that bans wagering on college sporting events played inside the state or involving New Jersey schools playing on the road.
New Jersey sports betting set a national record in September, taking in more than $748 million in bets from sports gamblers finally able to wager on football amid the coronavirus outbreak. Over the first nine months of this year, New Jersey casinos and racetracks have taken in nearly $3.3 billion in sports bets alone, according to an analysis by the AP.