New Jersey has one of the largest betting markets in the United States. Every month, the state is consistently at the top of the charts with Nevada, and there is no in-state college betting. However, this could change in the future in the Garden State.
New Jersey voters in the November election will have the opportunity to decide if in-state college betting will be legalized. If the majority of voters approve the referendum, the legislature will have the chance to pass an in-state betting law.
Details of the Referendum Vote
New Jersey legislators have been attempting to put the topic of in-state betting in the hands of the voters for an extensive period. When the state passed sports betting, the wagering market in the United States was new.
No legislators had any clue of the trajectory of legal betting in the United States, which made them leave off in-state college betting to protect student-athletes.
People will find ways to bet on college sports if they wish, so this strategy was slightly flawed. Three years after legalization, legislators in NJ want to allow people to wager on hometown colleges like Rutgers and Seton Hall.
On Thursday, the state legislature gave the final approval to have in-state college betting included on the November ballot. The current law bans voting on in-state programs as well as all NCAA games within the state.
For example, if the NCAA hosted a regional in NJ, nobody in the state could wager on any of the competitions. If the measure is passed, New Jersey’s market will grow to even larger heights. There is interest in the New Jersey college athletic programs, so legislators believe this could cause the state to dominate Nevada for sports betting financial numbers.
Comments from the Legislature
Democratic Assembly members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey were instrumental in having in-state college betting added to the November ballot. They issued a joint statement following Thursday’s legislative session.
It read, “Events and tournaments such as March Madness are highly anticipated by sports bettors all over the country. With a majority vote, we will be able to give the people in New Jersey the opportunity to place wagers on our collegiate teams and continue to enjoy the sporting events in our state.”
Numerous legislators are critical of the legislation. The opposition believes the law will destroy the sanctity of college athletics in the state. However, New Jersey has been one of the national leaders in gaming regulations. This has caused some legislators who were against in-state college betting in 2018 to transition their opinions in 2021.
In November, the in-state college betting question will be posed as follows.
“Do you approve amending the Constitution to permit wagering through casinos and current or former horse racetracks on all college sport or athletic events? Currently, wagering is prohibited at college sport or athletic events that take place in New Jersey. Wagering is also prohibited on an event in which a team from a New Jersey college participates.”
If voters approve, major athletic programs in the state like Rutgers, Seton Hall, and Princeton will be the center of focus for local bettors.