Sports betting operators invited to begin licensing process in the state of New Jersey.
Sports betting has been a hot topic of debate for some time now in the United States, particularly within the state of New Jersey. Legislation was passed in the state that would allow sports betting to take place, but actual gambling cannot begin until a positive ruling in NJ’s favor is provided by the US Supreme Court. A ruling in the Christie vs. NCAA case is expected later on this year, but the state is not waiting to take action involving the industry. Just this week, gaming regulators opened up the licensing process for sports betting by allowing operators to apply.
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Although the Supreme Court ruling has yet to take place, New Jersey is not wasting any time when it comes to preparing for a new sports betting industry. During the recent ICE Totally Gaming conference in London a few days ago, the Director of the Division of Gaming Enforcement for New Jersey, David Rebuck, stated that operators should apply for licensing in the industry or they would be left behind.
Just yesterday, Rebuck decided to provide a statement to the world, via ESPN, which confirmed that the Division of Gaming Enforcement is willing to start the licensing process for providers of sports betting. In the statement, Rebuck said that the regulator needs to be ready to investigate and license both individuals and businesses that wish to enter the gaming market of New Jersey if SCOTUS provides a favorable decision, allowing the state to legalize and set regulations for sports betting.
Rebuck stated further that the Division of Gaming Enforcement has been contacted by several companies that are curious about the licensing requirements for sports betting operations. The firms have been encouraged to begin the application process.
Since it was made known that the United States Supreme Court would be hearing the Christie vs NCAA case, the entire gaming industry has been waiting to see what the outcome will be. Not only is New Jersey ready to get started if the court rules that PASPA is in violation of federal law and every state has a say so if they want to become involved in sports betting, but other states are ready as well. Some states have passed legislation to prepare while others are considering the option.
It is believed that a ruling could be made in the case as early as March 5th. However, it could be April or later when the court finally makes their decision. Currently PASPA restricts sports betting to four states that were grandfathered in when the law was created in 1992 and Nevada is the only state where single-game sports betting is allowed.
The positive outcome would be that SCOTUS rules in favor of New Jersey, which would give states the right to decide to legalize sports betting within their borders. A negative outcome would be that the court decides to uphold PASPA and sports betting remains restricted within the United States. Gamblers within the US already spend millions of dollars each year on various sports events including boxing matches and the Super Bowl. While players can wager on such games in Nevada, they also place wagers in other states in an illegal manner. With sports betting being regulated, bettors would be more protected than if they would be by placing illegal wagers without consumer protections.
It will be interesting to see how the court rules in the near future on the case and if New Jersey will move forward with sports betting licensing and regulation.