New Jersey voters may hold the fate of a constitutional amendment to allow for sports betting on all in-state collegiate events in November 2021.
A resolution to amend the state constitution to allow for sports betting on all in-state collegiate events and events including in-state institutions was approved today by the New Jersey Assembly Tourism, Gaming and Arts Committee. It will next be heard by the House, Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-2) told ESNY.
New Jersey Sports Betting Currently Prohibited on In-State Events
New Jersey does not currently allow sports betting on college sport or athletic events taking place in the state. It also prohibits wagering on an event in which a New Jersey college team participates
“From a competitive edge we should have what other states have in regards to collegiate betting,” Mazzeo told ESNY.
The constitutional amendment would allow the state legislature to pass laws permitting wagering on any college sport or athletic event. It would permit wagering even if a New Jersey college team participates in the competition.
When the original sports betting bill was crafted the state included the college sports prohibition in the document to account for the potential ethics violations it may present. Moving forward, it’s important for the state to optimize the sports betting bill and include in-state collegiate events, Mazzeo said.
Potential Increase for New Jersey Tourism
Mazzeo represents District 2, which includes Atlantic City, so anything that could potentially increase tourism is a good thing for the state.
“I could see many people coming down to Atlantic City, to bet on their favorite New Jersey college team, and make a night or a weekend of it,” he said.
If approved by the House and then by the Senate, it’s the hope of the bill sponsors that it will be on the November 2021 general election ballot for state voters, Mazzeo said.
New Jersey recently reported $859.6 million in sports betting handle for the month of March, coming up short of industry expert predictions of a potential $1 billion total handle.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement reported $60.8 million in sports wagering gross revenue for the month of March, an increase of nearly $14 million in revenue over February’s total.