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New Jersey passes sports betting bill in time for World Cup

New Jersey sports betting

SPORTS betting is now officially legal in New Jersey.

Governor Philip Murphy signed Assembly Bill 4111 into law on Monday, four days after it passed through the houses of the state government.

The news comes only a few weeks after the US Supreme Court voided the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which had prohibited sports wagering nationwide since 1992.

“Today, we’re finally making the dream of legalized sports betting a reality for New Jersey,” Governor Murphy said in a statement.

“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 new laws come into effect on Thursday, June 14 – the opening day of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

However, the state’s casinos and racetracks are fighting against the clock to secure licences in time for that showcase event.

The New Jersey Racing Commission is scheduled to meet on Wednesday in a bid to expedite to the licensing process.

“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, operator of Monmouth Park racecourse.

Besides stimulating New Jersey’s racing industry, the introduction of legal sports wagering is a huge shot in the arm for Atlantic City’s ailing casinos.

The Borgata is expected to start sportsbook trading right away, while preparations are ongoing at Bally’s, Caesars, Golden Nugget, Harrah’s, Resorts and the Tropicana.

New Jersey is the second state, after Delaware, to legalize gambling on sports since the PASPA ruling last month.

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