Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday he doesn’t have a timetable for when he’ll act on a bill that would authorize legal sports betting in New Jersey a but he insisted he’s not “sitting on it.”
“I want sports betting,” Murphy said during a news conference in New Brunswick. “Believe me a I want to place the first bet in New Jersey if I can. But we want to make sure we do it right. We just got the bill. We’re going through it, and we’re not gonna sit on it.”
“We’re going to have sports betting sooner than later in New Jersey,” he added. “We’re really excited about that.”
The fate of New Jersey sports betting is now in Murphy’s hands after both houses of the state Legislature voted overwhelmingly Thursday to pass the bill, situs judi bola which would regulate and tax such wagering online and in person at the Garden State’s casinos and racetracks.
The vote came less than a month after the U.S. Supreme Court handed New Jersey a victory in its seven-year, $9 million case to legalize betting on sports games.
Murphy now has 45 days to either sign or veto the legislation. Asked if he’ll take all 45 days to act, Murphy said: “I sure as heck would hope not.”
No sports betting in N.J. until Murphy says so
Lawmakers from both political parties are asking Murphy to act quickly a not only because New Jersey has already waited years for this but because the Supreme Court allowed states around the U.S. to legalize such betting, and legislators here want to capitalize on the tax revenue as soon as possible.
State Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso, R-Monmouth, said New Jersey is about to miss out on “a really big weekend for sports.” The Belmont Stakes, NBA Finals, Mets vs. Yankees Subway Series, French Open and more are on the schedule.
“That is a huge missed opportunity and an even bigger loss for our gambling industry,” DiMaso added.
Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, R-Union, also called on Murphy to sign the bill immediately.
“Let’s not play politics after years of hard-fought litigation,” Bramnick said. “The state is losing revenue every day we wait.”
But Murphy said he’s not going to “change my stripes just because it’s a big weekend.”
Then there’s the issue of Monmouth Park. Officials at the Oceanport racetrack say their long-awaited sports betting operation is ready to go. And lawmakers stripped out language from the bill that would have penalized casinos and tracks if they started betting before Murphy signs the measure into law.
But the New Jersey Racing Commission sent a letter late Thursday warning tracks that they could risk getting a sports betting license if they didn’t wait for Murphy.