Have New Jersey’s Online Gambling Laws Paved the Way for Other States to Legalize?

Quest Post

For several years, debates raged across the US as to whether or not states could or should legalize sports betting. The rise of daily fantasy sports only added fuel to the fire, with the DFS format certainly presenting itself as a form of sports betting in just about every on-looking nation that had already legalized regular sports betting. 

Still, it took a tremendous amount of campaigning to eventually bring a case to the Supreme Court of the United States, with the efforts being spearheaded by New Jersey’s former governor, Chris Christie, who delivered his final State of the State address in January 2017. While Christie didn’t get to remain in office for long enough to reap the fruits of his labor, governor Phil Murphy continued the pursuit, ousted PASPA, and placed the state’s first legal sports bet on June 14, 2018. 

Murphy v. NCAA, 128 S.Ct. 1461 (2018) permitted all states to regulate online gambling, with New Jersey continually hailed as the trailblazer of the United States’ modern iGaming scene. 

While New Jersey wasn’t the first state to legalize and regulate an online gambling scene, with Delaware just beating them to the punch, the Garden State certainly paved the way, as the New Jersey online gambling  detailed guide shows. Right now, the state is one of the least restrictive in the US, offering everything from sports betting to online casinos, daily fantasy sports, to online poker. However, just because New Jersey is so open to the many forms of gambling on-land and online doesn’t mean that they’re closely regulating the scene. 

On June 11, 2018, Murphy signed a law that made the authorization of sports betting in New Jersey official, per the news release . In-person and mobile betting was suddenly allowed across the state. Despite all four of the US major leagues and the NCAA being virulently opposed to New Jersey’s initial efforts to bring down the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, each of them are now staples of the betting industries in the Garden State and across fellow legalized states. 

Importantly, though, the one line of betting that wasn’t given the green light by New Jersey was betting on college teams and events within the state and involving home teams. Other than that, online casino gaming, sports betting, DFS, and poker are all fair game with regulated licensees. Betting alone has been a colossal success, with the total handle for May 2021 alone being over $810 million. Furthermore, as recent news has shown, total state gaming revenues clocked in at over $390 million in June 2021, marking more than a 300 percent increase year-on-year. 

At last count, with a 6.9 percent hold, New Jersey has seen over $148 million in taxes revenue from its sports betting scene alone. This ranks the Garden State second only to Pennsylvania, where there’s a higher 7.7 percent hold, helping to get the Keystone State to hit $156 million by the same point. New Jersey has shown how expansive an online gambling scene can be and, under the right regulations, how much a state can benefit from its revenues. 

Since New Jersey’s post-PASPA gambling scene was unveiled, Mississippi, West Virginia, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Arkansas, New York, Iowa, Oregon, Indiana, New Hampshire, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, Colorado, Washington DC, Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina have all at least legalized sports betting, with several more evidently on the way according to the overview. While the home of Atlantic City was, naturally, quick to bring in online casino gaming, most other states have been noticeably hesitant, with the exceptions following New Jersey being Pennsylvania, Michigan, West Virginia, and Delaware. 

Many more states took notice of New Jersey’s decision not to permit betting on in-state college events and college sports teams. New Mexico, Rhode Island, Arkansas, New York, Oregon, New Hampshire, Illinois, Washington DC, and Virginia have followed suit. Iowa and Indiana have too, but to a lesser extent, only stopping prop bets. In fact, the Garden State furthered its trailblazing reputation by legalizing eSports, ushering in a move from Pennsylvania to do the same. Importantly for the national scene, as of the end of last year, more than $300 million had been generated in tax revenue, with $10 billion being legally wagered in New Jersey across its online and land-based sports betting outlets. 

New Jersey was the headline act of PASPA’s repeal, and has continued to pave the way for all other states to fully legalize all forms of online gambling should they see fit.