As New Jersey Moves Ahead to Allow Sports Betting, NCAA Fights Back

October 16, 2012
The NCAA has pulled championship sporting events from New Jersey because the state is moving toward allowing sports betting.

The final adoption of the regulations for sports wagering were published in the New Jersey registry yesterday. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement says this publication marks one of the last legal steps needed to legalize sports betting in the state. The requirements for sports pool licensing are restricted to casinos, the four racetracks or a joint venture. All applicants need to identify a sports wagering lounge within the casino or racetrack. And the cost to apply for a license is $50,000 with a resubmission fee of $50,000 every five years.

“It will be a big boost to the economy of New Jersey and be a big revenue generator for Atlantic City’s casinos or racetracks, which are hurting and save a lot of jobs and create some more,” Senator Ray Lesniak (D-20), a prime sponsor of the sports betting bill.

Some casinos are already offering a taste of sports betting. Without putting any money up, people can win cash prizes with free football game picks promotions.


However, with news of these regulations, the NCAA is pulling championship games out of New Jersey because the organization’s sports wagering policy prohibits the conducting of any championship session in a state with legal wagering that is based on a single game betting. Some of the events include Division One women’s basketball championships in Trenton, and women’s lacrosse championships in Montclair. Gov. Christie today called the NCAA’s decision “ludicrous and hypocritical” and Sen. Lesniak agrees.

“The NCAA action makes no sense,” said Lesniak. It’s not going to impact us economically at all, and as a matter of fact, when we have sports betting, expect others to follow suit and the only place the NCAA will hold games will be in Utah.”

There is a still another roadblock. In August, the major professional sports leagues and the NCAA sued New Jersey state officials in federal court to stop the state from implementing sports wagering. New Jersey says about $380 million a year is wagered illegally on sporting events and argues that it will not damage the integrity of the major sports leagues, as they have claimed.

“We’re going to make sure this federal law is declared unconstitutional so we can have right here in the state of New Jersey what Nevada has,” Lesniak said.

Although the federal suit is ongoing, the Division of Gaming Enforcement is accepting applications, but none have been filed to date. The organization says no licenses will be issued before January 9, 2013.

Reporting from the state house, Dari Kotzker has the full story.

Related: Sponsor of Sports Betting Bill Calls Out Sports Leagues On Their Hypocrisy