Sports betting will commence in New Jersey just ahead of the first game of the FIFA World Cup on Thursday after Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation on Monday allowing the state's racetracks and casinos to begin operations.
Betting will begin at 10.30am on Thursday at New Jersey racetrack Monmouth Park. That’s just before the opening World Cup game between Russia and Saudi Arabia, which begins at 11am EST.
After New Jersey’s five-year battle to legalise sports betting, the US Supreme Court last month struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992, the federal ban on state-sponsored sports betting.
New Jersey has become the second state to pass legislation to allow sports betting since the ruling, following Delaware.
After signing the legislation into law on Monday afternoon, Murphy said in a statement: “Today, we're finally making the dream of legalised sports betting a reality for New Jersey.
“I'm thrilled to sign Assembly Bill 4111 because it means that our casinos in Atlantic City and our racetracks throughout our state can attract new business and new fans, boosting their own long-term financial prospects.
“This is the right move for New Jersey and it will strengthen our economy.”
The nine casinos in Atlantic City as well as the state's three racetracks and sites of former racetracks are allowed to offer sports betting under the legislation.
“I look forward to the governor joining us at Monmouth Park Racetrack on Thursday morning to usher in a new era for New Jersey by placing the first bet,” said Dennis Drazin, chairman and chief executive of Darby Development, operators of Monmouth Park.
MGM Resorts, which will operate the sportsbook at Atlantic City’s Borgata, said it is “moving ahead with all possible speed to begin accepting legal sports bets as soon as required regulatory approvals are in place.”
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