New Jersey Senate to Vote on College, Fixed Odds Proposals

New Jersey Senate to Vote on College, Fixed Odds Proposals
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The next step for a limited amount of college sports wagering on events in New Jersey will take place on Monday.

Senate Resolution No. 133, which was introduced in the Senate on Oct. 19 and is sponsored by District 36 State Sen. Paul A. Sarlo (D-Bergen, Passaic) is scheduled for a vote on Monday as part of the state senate’s Budget and Appropriations meeting.

Another wagering proposal is also on the docket for Monday, this time in the form of fixed odds wagering on horse racing in New Jersey.

CHECK OUT: The Top New Jersey sportsbooks

The NCAA proposal would permit wagering through casinos and current/former horse racetracks on a college sport or athletic event that takes place in New Jersey as a tournament, playoff, championship, or other postseason competition.

It would also permit wagering even if a New Jersey college team participates in such an event.

The proposal comes after an Oct. 14 NCAA site announcement that the Prudential Center “The Rock” in Newark will host the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament East Regional for the first time since 2011. That year No. 4 Kentucky upended No. 2 North Carolina, 76-69, to advance to the Final Four, losing to eventual champion Connecticut, 56-55, in the national semifinals.

A majority vote approval in the state Senate and assembly this year would mean that a similar vote would also be required in 2021 to lead the way for a November 2021 ballot measure for the public to vote upon.

Without it, it would take a three-fifths majority of both branches in 2021 to allow for the measure to land on November’s ballot.

Currently, the state constitution prohibits college sports wagering on any collegiate sport or athletic event held in New Jersey or in which a New Jersey college team participates, with professional sports wagering permitted only through casinos and current/former horse racetracks.

New Jersey, host to many collegiate and tournament events, is home to eight NCAA Division I men’s and women’s college programs (Fairleigh Dickinson, Monmouth, NJIT, Princeton, Rider, Rutgers, Saint Peter’s, Seton Hall), with Monmouth, Rutgers and Princeton fielding football teams.

Vote on Fixed Odds Horse Racing Wageing

S3090, introduced to the Senate on Oct. 29, would provide details on permission for state racetracks (Monmouth Park in Oceanport and The Meadowlands in East Rutherford for thoroughbred racing) to offer “fixed odds” wagering on horse races, which has been offered in the state on a limited basis since 2018.

The bill was introduced by State Sen. Vin Gopal (D) from Monmouth County’s District 11, along with a similar measure in the State Assembly (A4909) by state house representatives Ralph Caputo (D-Essex) and Ronald Dancer (R-Ocean). The legislation would authorize the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) to issue such a license to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) to establish a fixed odds wagering system under their regulations, rather than sports wagering regulations, within the state.

One of those key regulations would be that you need to be 18 years old, rather than 21, to bet on a sporting event.

Once the bill is approved by a majority of the Senate and the Assembly, it will be sent to Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk for his consideration and, if he approves, signed into law.

Popular in Australia, UK

Hugely popular in Australia and the United Kingdom, fixed odds on horse racing means odds are locked in on your horse at the time you make our bet. For example, if you bet a horse at 20-1 and it drops to 9-2, you get the horse at 20-1 odds at the time you placed the wager.

In February, Australian-based BetMakers secured an exclusive 10-year agreement with New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen Association and Darby Development LLC., the operator of Monmouth Park (home of the $1 million Haskell Invitational), to deliver and manage fixed odds horse racing in New Jersey. It is partnered with PointsBet.

“BetMakers is pleased that the legislation has been introduced and supported by both sides of the aisle, and that it provides a clear framework for fixed odds horse racing in New Jersey,” BetMakers CEO Todd Buckingham said in a news release on Nov. 2. “The introduction of the bill is an important step for providing a regulatory pathway for the introduction of fixed odds betting in the U.S. and places New Jersey as the front-running state in the U.S. to pursue this opportunity.”