TRENTON — Sports betting is now legal in New Jersey, as Gov. Phil Murphy signed the bill establishing gaming rules and regulations Monday afternoon.

“Today, we’re finally making the dream of legalized sports betting a reality for New Jersey,” Murphy said. “I’m thrilled to sign Assembly Bill 4111 because it means that our casinos in Atlantic City and our racetracks throughout our state can attract new business and new fans, boosting their own long-term financial prospects. This is the right move for New Jersey and it will strengthen our economy," Murphy said in a statement.

Both the state Senate and Assembly passed the bill last Thursday unanimously, but the governor took the weekend to read the bill.

Monmouth Park will be the first to offer sports betting with Murphy placing the first bet on Thursday on a World Cup soccer match between Saudi Arabia and Russia. Former Gov. Chris Christie, former state senator Raymond Lesniak, Congressman Frank Pallone, state Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin will also be at the special event inside the Monmouth Park Sports Book by William Hill. The room will open to the public afterwards.

Oceanport Borough Council Preisdent Jospeh Irace, who expressed frustration at the governor's delay, was happy to hear the bill was law.

"That's great news. When are we opening?" Irace asked rhetorically."It's great news for Monmouth Park, it's great news for Atlantic City, it's great news for the state of New Jersey. Everybody's ready to go," Irace told New Jersey 101.5

Sports betting venues such as Monmouth Park in Oceanport and casinos in Atlantic City could have started accepting bets but were warned by Racing Commission Director Frank Zanzuccki that "any track that starts taking bets before the governor signs the bill jeopardizes its ability to become licensed to offer sports betting."

Among the provisions of the bill:

  • Individuals placing wagers must be at least 21 years of age
  • Athletes, coaches, referees, and other persons with potential influence or access to non-public information regarding sporting events, are prohibited from placing bets on sporting events overseen by the league in which they participate.
  • Wagers cannot be placed on high school sporting events or collegiate athletic events taking place in New Jersey or involving New Jersey teams.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ