(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Ready, Set, Bet: New Jersey Days Away From Taking First Sports Bets

June 12, 2018 - 9:01 am
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TRENTON, N.J. (1010 WINS/AP) -- It's game on in New Jersey.

Sports betting is now legal in the Garden State after Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill into law on Monday.

Gamblers are just a couple of days away from being able to place bets, and the governor himself plans be among the first bettors at Monmouth Park on Thursday morning.

1010 WINS' John Montone stopped by the Meadowlands Racetrack to find out if everyone is chomping at the bit to bet.

Anthony is ready for some NBA and NFL action.

"I think it's going to help Jersey out, it's going to be good. I like it, it's a long time coming," he said.

John from Rutherford is on board.

"Raise some revenue for the state," he said.

Mike from Paterson may lay a few bucks on his Bronx Bombers.

"I'll bet on the Yankees, not the Mets," he said.

But B.J. won't be placing any bets.

"I love my money," he said.

Three weeks ago, New Jersey prevailed in a Supreme Court case that struck down a federal law limiting sports betting to just four states. Now, any state is free to adopt laws legalizing it, and analysts expect most to do so.

The bill would allow Atlantic City casinos and racetracks, including Monmouth, the Meadowlands and Freehold Raceway, to offer sports betting. A provision also would allow it at the former Atlantic City Race Course if that facility were to reopen.

The bill set the tax rate for casinos at 8.5 percent, with an additional 1.25 percent payment to help market Atlantic City. The 1.25 percent add-on fee for tracks would be split among the host community and the county in which the track operates. Internet bets would be taxed at 13 percent.

Internet betting would begin 30 days after the rest of the law takes effect.

The measure also is full of clauses that would help at least four casinos offer sports betting even though they or their owners have ownership ties to professional sports teams. It would benefit the Borgata and three casinos owned by Caesars Entertainment.

The bill would ban casinos or executives who own professional sports teams from offering sports betting, theoretically counting out Borgata owner MGM because it also owns the WNBA's Las Vegas Aces. But under a clause in the bill, MGM would be approved because the team generates less than 1 percent of its total annual revenue.

(© 2018 1010 WINS. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)