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On May 14, 2018, the US Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association in which it held that a federal law enacted in 1992--the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) which essentially limited sports betting to Nevada--was unconstitutional. In a 6-3 decision, the Court's majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, Jr., (a New Jersey native), found that the 1992 law violated the 10th Amendment, which defines the relationship between the federal and state governments, by ordering the states to take certain actions beyond the scope of federal authority. “Congress can regulate sports gambling directly," Justice Alito wrote, "but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own. Our job is to interpret the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution. PASPA is not.” The Court's decision dismissed a lawsuit brought by five sports leagues, including the National Collegiate Athletic Association, to enjoin the implementation of the New Jersey sports gambling law which the state had enacted in 2014.
The case arose as a result of a series of actions by New Jersey--including a referendum, a constitutional amendment and subsequent legislation--to challenge the prohibition of sports gambling, which was viewed by the state's struggling casino and race track sectors as a key component of future growth. According to research by the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, legal sports betting in Nevada totaled nearly $5 billion in 2017, and some analysts predicted that sports gambling in New Jersey would soon overtake the returns in Nevada.
Shortly after the Supreme Court's action, which reversed lower federal court decisions against enforcement of the New Jersey law, New Jersey racetracks and casinos quickly began to obtain licenses to establish sports gambling operations at their facilities, as well as through online applications.
During the first year of sports gambling, New Jersey recorded some $3 billion in sports bets, and in June 2019 Governor Murphy declared that the state was likely to overtake Nevada in gross sports handle in the next year. Sixteen states legalized sports betting in the year since the Supreme Court decision, and about eight, including Pennsylvania and Delaware, have launched operations as of mid-2019.
Sports books collect money from bettors who usually place wagers on single games or on longer-shot, but higher-payout parlays, such as the team which will win the championship of major professional leagues at the end of the season. They can also place bets on more specific outcomes, like how many complete games a pitcher will throw or touchdowns a quarterback will complete. The books make profits by taking in more in bets than they pay out in winnings.
* Gov. Murphy: New Jersey will soon dethrone Nevada as America’s sports-betting capital, 6/13/2019, Philadelphia Inquirer
* Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, Oyez.com
* NJ Sports Wagering Law, P.L. 2018, c. 33
* Global Gaming Business Magazine
* Sports Wagering Gross Revenue Information, Division of Gaming Enforcement, NJ Department of Law & Public Safety
* Center for Gaming Research, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Governor Murphy places first legal sports bets in New Jersey on June 14, 2018 at the Monmouth Park Sports Book by placing two $20 bets, one on Germany to win the World Cup, and the other on the New Jersey Devils to win the Stanley Cup
LICENSED SPORTS GAMBLING
-- Online Sports Gambling (wagers from patrons 21 and over that have been affirmatively located as being physically present in the state of New Jersey at the time of their wagering)
* Division of Gaming Enforcement, New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety
* Casino Control Commission, State of New Jersey
* Casino Reinvestment Development Authority
* City of Atlantic City
* County of Atlantic
Media and reference
* NJ Sports Betting, LegalSportsReport.com
* Casino Association of New Jersey
Easter Sunday 1904 crowds on Atlantic City boardwalk in film by Thomas Edison
Postcard circa 1890 Image: NewJerseyAlmanac.com
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