Is The Economy Improving In New Jersey Due To New Betting Legislation?

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Gambling is a bit of a ticklish issue around the United States and, depending on where you are, you might find yourself frustrated with the limited freedom you’re offered as it pertains to making a wager with your own money. 

New Jersey, however, doesn’t frown upon gambling as harshly as some other states do. The state’s Atlantic City is one of the most famous gambling locations in the world and there’s no doubting its impact on NJ’s economy. Gambling has been legal in New Jersey since 1976, yet betting was a different kettle of fish until a few years ago. 

Back in 2018, Governor Phil Murphy signed a law to authorize legal sports betting in NJ. The move brought an end to a long-lasting multimillion-dollar court battle involving America’s biggest sports leagues. 

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Prior to this, Nevada was the only state in which sports betting was legal but, that same year, the Supreme Court ruled that states could decide for themselves as to whether or not they wanted to legalize sports betting. New Jersey had been fighting the law keeping them from making sports betting legal, insisting it was unconstitutional, as well as the lawsuit against the state filed by top pro sports leagues. 

The Supreme Court would move to agree with the state, much to the disappointment of the NBA, NHL, and MLB as they had concerns over betting damaging their sports’ integrity. Murphy immediately signed legislation to legalize betting in NJ and even took to social media to post that the move was the right one as it would positively impact the state’s economy. 

Residents in the states can now bet on various sporting events, punt at the racetracks, casinos, and wherever else offers betting as long as they don’t place bets on college games or events involving outfits from the state. It goes without saying that individuals such as players, coaches, referees, or any member of team staff aren’t allowed to bet on sports, for obvious reasons. 

The legislation opened the doors for a number of companies to come in and establish pertinent facilities, creating jobs for residents and stimulating the economy in the state. The requirements for taking an institution to New Jersey aren’t as strict as they are in other states, although offshore markets are something else altogether. 

Where money is specifically concerned as it pertains to gambling in the state, Bloomberg reported that NJ’s nine land-based casinos brought in $1.5 billion in revenue last year. 

“A surge in online gambling helped lift New Jersey tax collections in an otherwise terrible year for the casino industry, bringing some relief to the state during a budget crunch,” the report reads. 

“Casinos, racetracks and online gambling providers generated $302.7 million in tax collections for the state in 2020, up from $300.4 million the year before, according to data released Wednesday by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement. 

“The coronavirus pandemic crippled New Jersey casinos last year, shutting them down for nearly four months. Though they began reopening in July, gamblers are only slowly coming back. The state’s nine land-based casinos generated $1.5 billion in total gambling revenue, down 44% from the prior year.” 

Also, according to stats noted by OCNJDaily: 

- Between 2013 and 2018, online gaming generated $259.3 million in tax revenue to state and local governments. 

- Between 2013 and 2018, the industry created 6,552 jobs. 

- Between 2013 and 2019, the industry generated $2 billion in value of sales. 

The legalization of betting in the state of New Jersey has been significant as it has seen other states take up the task of scribing legislation to make the practice legal for themselves. Idaho, Wisconsin, and Utah were the only states that hadn’t announced bills to legalize sports betting as of April this year. While it does appear unlikely to happen in Utah, it’s possible that the other two could move to introduce proposals in the near future. 

“Utah's anti-gambling stance is written into the state's constitution. Any change to existing state policy toward gambling would be a massive departure from decades of opposition to any form of gambling, including lottery tickets, table games and sports betting,” according to ESPN. 

Apart from New Jersey, 21 other states permit betting on sports, while the other states (apart from the aforementioned trio) have either introduced or passed a bill. 

The betting and gambling market looks to be set to grow even stronger in New Jersey. The state managed to keep afloat financially even amid the pandemic. Of course, it helps that NJ had always had a more positive outlook on such activities. It’s expected that even more strides will be taken in the coming years for Garden State gambling.

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