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Americans crossing the New Jersey border to place their sports bets

New Jersey
With wagering on sports currently illegal in New York and Pennsylvania, punters in other states are crossing the border to neighbouring New Jersey to place legal sports bets.

To place a sports bet, 39-year-old business owner, Leonard Sciascia, from Staten Islands in New York City drives across the Bayonne Bridge, where he can then wager in a regulated and legal environment.

After crossing the bridge, he makes a stopover at the first traffic light, logs in to his mobile betting account, places his bet, and then returns home. He spends at least 25 minutes travelling in and out for the bet.

Sciascia, who considers himself a professional tipster, said he is “looking at (betting) lines all day, If I see something I like, I jump in my car and go.”

The closest option that punters in New York and Pennsylvania have for legal sports betting is New Jersey.

Aside from placing bets on their smartphones, punters can physically show up at the Atlantic City casinos or at racetracks in East Rutherford and Oceanport — two more New Jersey betting havens.

Gaming operator FanDuel receives nine percent of its clients from New York and four percent from Pennsylvania. Also, DraftKings says about 20 percent of its customers live outside New Jersey.

Sports punter Maurice Shalam, who lives in Brooklyn, travels every Sunday to Manhattan to catch a train to New Jersey.

“I’ll get off the train and stand right in the station, a few steps from where I got off, take out my phone, do my bets right there, and go back home,” he said.

“The 30-minute round trip across the river and back, along with the $5.50 fare, is just part of the price of playing.”

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