We have reached the point where lawmakers want voters to expand the state’s sports-betting laws. With many of the best online sportsbook providers already offering college sports odds, it has left many wondering why.
A recent survey carried out by the state of New Jersey found that a majority of the voters were not inclined to expand sports betting to include NCAA sports. This has been a major question on the ballot for many states across the US.
New Jersey boasts a long list of collegiate teams, with a significant number of games taking place within the state. The reason this has suddenly become a point of contention comes after lawmakers aim to collect revenue from the NCAA Eastern Regional basketball finals, which are due to be held in the state in 2025. While New Jersey doesn’t boast an NBA team, there are a wealth of college basketball teams for bettors to wager on.
A Poll was conducted last week, which showed that an overwhelming majority don’t approve of the change. Only 25% of the voters support the change, with 49% opposing and the remaining unsure. There is still a while between now and the time the vote will officially take place, so these figures could move significantly. It seems that voters know where they stand when it comes to wagering on New Jersey teams.
An amendment to the state law took place in 2011, but it wasn’t implemented until 2018 due to a federal prohibition. The U.S. The Supreme Court rejected the request preventing wagers, except for bets made in New Jersey casinos, racetracks, and online.
The legislature received near-unanimous approval in the November ballot. Later the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee held a public hearing on the measure last November, which was the same day the committee endorsed the bill. There were many on the committee that was associated with gambling in some way or another and these were the individuals that showed their support for the bill.
The argument that many from a pro-gambling point of view are that many of the public are attending these games and would be interested in adding to their viewing experience by having some form of stake in the game. Moreover, any profits made in New Jersey would remain in the state, which would be of great benefit to those that reside in New Jersey.
It is difficult to estimate the amount of money that would come into the state. But, if recent data is to be believed, the state collected just under $7 million in taxes during the month of May this year. With the pandemic seemingly not over, it’s certainly worth the state finding ways to bring more revenue in.
As we mentioned before, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship is due to take place at the Prudential Center in Newark, in 2025, which certainly adds fuel to the belief that this change to state law could really benefit New Jersey. Especially after the change of law that took place in 2018, the state has seen the number of bettors increase dramatically in recent years.
But why was college sports excluded from the bill?
At first, college sports were excluded due to the fact it was believed that sports-betting law wouldn’t protect against the possibility of match-fixing. Student-athletes aren’t paid like professional athletes and they are far more likely to be influenced by those that look to disrupt the legitimacy of the sport.
While paying student-athletes isn’t the solution, there is a belief that it’s best to leave such young athletes alone and focus on improving their performance with an eye on pro sports. Student-athletes also have a lot less at stake, well this is the perceived view of those that are interested in changes to the bill. In our view, any athlete at any level caught cheating would jeopardize their future. We will see what happens with New Jersey sports betting in the coming months.