SCR-133 Collegiate Tournament Betting
The Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey (CCSNJ) is proud to support SCR- 133 (Sarlo), which amends the State Constitution to permit sports wagering on New Jersey collegiate tournament, playoff, championship, or other postseason athletic competitions, as well as New Jersey teams that may be competing in these type of games.
The effort to legalize sports gambling in New Jersey dates back to 2010 when voters approved by a 2 to 1 margin a referendum seeking to allow betting on all professional sports, as well as collegiate games played outside of New Jersey. Eight years later in 2018, New Jersey won a U.S. Supreme Court case clearing the way for all 50 states to offer legal sports betting should they so choose and later that year, Governor Phil Murphy signed Assembly Bill 4111 legalizing sports betting at both racetracks and casinos in New Jersey. However, the State Constitution continues to ban betting on New Jersey-based college sports teams, or college playoff or tournament games held in the state, which is precisely what SCR- 133 (Sarlo) aims to change.
Sports wagering has been a boon for the state recently breaking its own previously set national record with more than $748 million in sports bets in the month of September, while New Jersey casinos and tracks have taken nearly $3.3 billion in sports bets this year. New Jersey has also surpassed Nevada, which includes the famed Las Vegas sports book, with more wagers placed in-state than anywhere else in the country.
Now more than ever, as the state struggles to identify new forms of revenue that does not include increasing taxes, the broadening of New Jersey’s sports betting law is a natural option to explore – one that would open the doors to allow betting on colligate New Jersey teams in the playoffs and allow betting on playoff/tournament games that take place in the state. Both would be of high interest to those interested in placing wagers on their hometown teams, or games happening in their backyard, increasing the amount of sports betting spend as a result.
Although not as sweeping, and therefore profitable, as a total allowance of betting on all regular season games for New Jersey-based college teams, this measure is a step in the right direction to loosen regulations around collegiate betting slowly and responsibly, while also – and perhaps most importantly - opening the door for betting on March Madness games, which the state looks to attract in the future, including the preliminary tournament games scheduled to take place at the Prudential Center in 2025.
Lastly, and significantly, any widening of sports betting options will help our racetracks and casinos grow their revenue base, something which is invaluable given COVID-19’s impact on their respective industries. For these reasons, we urge you to support SCR- 133 (Sarlo).