TRENTON – The Senate today approved a proposed amendment to the state constitution to allow wagering on collegiate competitions in the Garden State. Sponsored by Senator Paul Sarlo and Senator Vin Gopal, the proposal, SCR-133, would seek voter approval to have New Jersey take advantage of the opportunity to participate in the expanding sports gaming market.
“New Jersey has become the country’s biggest sports betting market, and the Meadowlands is the largest sports wagering facility in the state,” said Senator Sarlo, (D-Bergen/Passaic), whose legislative district includes the Meadowlands. “We can build on this success by capitalizing on this opportunity. We need to support and sustain this growing market that is fast becoming a significant part of our regional and state economies.”
The proposal was approved by the Senate with a vote of 36-1, surpassing the three-fifths threshold for putting the question on this year’s ballot. If the Assembly version, ACR-200, achieves the same threshold, it will go to the voters in the 2021 election.
“Sports betting has taken off in the last few years, and sports gaming onsite at Monmouth Park has been an economic boon not only to our region, but to the state overall,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “Under this constitutional amendment, we will be able to surpass even the higher than expected success we have seen thus far, and build on the steadily growing demand we continue to see in sports gaming.”
The amendment would permit wagering through casinos and current or former horse racetracks on a college sport or athletic event that takes place in New Jersey. It would allow the wagering even if a New Jersey college team participates, removing the prohibition on betting on college games in the Garden State. This would include football bowl games at MetLife Stadium.
Sports wagering in New Jersey has become widely popular since the law first permitted it in 2018. In addition, New Jersey is home to many collegiate athletic postseason and tournament events, including NCAA competitions. Future events have already been scheduled in New Jersey, such as the East Regional of the 2025 NCAA “March Madness” Men’s College Basketball Tournament.
Gross revenue from sports wagering in New Jersey was $299 million in 2019, with total gaming revenue of $3.5 billion compared to $2.9 billion in the prior period, reflecting an increase of nearly 20 percent. Internet Gaming Win increased 62 percent to $483 million, compared to the prior period.