New Jersey sports bettors will have to wait several years until they can place bets on in-state colleges and in-state collegiate events.
According to New Jersey election results from The New York Times, state residents voted down a ballot question to permit betting on in-state colleges and events. With 92% of the polls reported, 57% of the votes were against the question while 43% approved the question.
A total of 1,994,121 votes have been cast for the question.
Will Legislators Try Again in 2022?
New Jersey has offered sports betting since 2018, but bets on in-state collegiate programs have always been prohibited. State legislators approved a referendum question for the general election ballot to amend the constitution to “permit sports wagering through casinos and current or former horse racetracks on certain sanctioned collegiate tournament, playoff, championship, or other postseason athletic competitions in New Jersey.”
New Jersey officials had hoped to allow sports betting on in-state events, as the state will host NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament games in 2025.
Officials can ask the question again in the 2022 general election.
Originally a Concern Over Ethics
Here’s what the ballot summary said about the public question:
“Currently, the State Constitution prohibits wagering on college sport or athletic events taking place in New Jersey. It also prohibits wagering on an event in which a New Jersey college team participates. This amendment would allow the 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. Such wagering would be permitted only through casinos and current or former horse racetracks.”
Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-2) told ESNY in a previous interview 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.