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New Jersey set for windfall if sports betting is legalised

New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils
If the Supreme Court challenge against PASPA goes smoothly, New Jersey residents could soon be able to bet on NHL team, the Devils, legally.

New Jersey will be licking its financial wounds if its war against a federal prohibition on sports betting is unsuccessful.

But the state’s coffers will receive a massive boost if the verdict is positive in the Supreme Court case which is attempting to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.

According to the reports released by the state’s legal department, the Sports and Exposition authority, as well as the Senate Majority Office, NJ has been charged to the tune of $8.7 million contesting the 1992 enacted federal legislation banning sports betting.

If PASPA is nullified, NJ is expected to make $173 million in tax earnings and witness the generation of over 3600 jobs, as outlined by an Oxford Economics report.

David Schwartz, an executive at the University of Nevada’s Center for Gaming Research, Las Vegas, stated that sports gambling represents approximately 2% of the overall gaming earnings in Nevada. He disclosed that even though sports betting would increase Atlantic City casinos’ incomes, he warned against depending on it to create a financial fortune for the resort.

A law firm, known as Gibson Dunn & Crutcher has billed the state over $7 million in five years, 2012 – 2017. These fees, according to the record keeper for the Department of Law, are taken care of by the Department of Gaming Enforcement as well as the Racing Commission with levies collected from horse racing courses and casinos.

Another firm, Gibbons PC charged the state Legislature an excess of $1.5 million for legal services for the period January 2012 until January 2018. This firm has also represented the Sports Commission, and a spokesperson of the commission affirmed that a legal fee of $77,000 was paid for the service.

In 2011, the people of New Jersey massively endorsed the amendment of the constitution to permit sports gambling. Then in 2012, the state Lawmakers approved the Sports Gambling Act with ex-Governor Chris Christie signing off on the regulation in 2012 & 2014 to ratify the amendment.

The legislation was contested by five sports leagues, including the NBA, NFL, NCAA, NHL, NFL and the MLB, with the case now referred to the United States Supreme court, which entertained the oral arguments last December. The court is expected to give judgment towards the end of June or at the beginning July.

All the seven casinos in Atlantic City as well as the two that will begin operation this summer are waiting anxiously for the court’s decision.

Although many of the casinos refused to comment on their possible course of action if the Supreme Court pronounce a favorable judgment, those that did, disclosed that they were ready to provide the “Las Vegas method” of sports gambling in Atlantic City.

Frank Leone, the CEO of Ocean Resort, which is due to open on June 28, said his casino was planning on incorporating a large sports betting area at the casino, where patrons can both bet and watch sports and racing events.

“Ocean Resort Casino plans to provide a ‘top- notch’ sports-wagering experience in an amazing highly dynamic and extremely breathtaking location together with what is generally regarded as the best names in the international sports wagering industry,” he said.

“Ocean Resort Casino will be placed to instantly provide both online and traditional sports gambling pending the issuance of license and regulatory authorization.”

Caesars Entertainment group run three casinos in New Jersey — Caesars Atlantic City, Bally’s Atlantic City as well as Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, combined with 35 other casinos spread throughout the USA.

“We are of the opinion that PASPA should be annulled by the Court, even though nobody understands how the court will decide, or the regulatory situations that will emerge from the court’s decision, our reaction will be in accordance with the opportunity and regulations that follow if the regulation changes,” Caesars Entertainment’s regional public relation Executive Noel Stevenson said.

Trenton, NJ, lawmakers getting ready for positive result

Three Democratic lawmakers have presented a bill that will control and tax betting on professional and collegial sports. In the proposed bill, revenues from sports betting would be subjected to 8% tax while online sports wagering would be subject to a 12.5% tax.

Racetracks and Casinos would have to pay a yearly sports wagering “credibility fee” which will be equivalent to 2.5% of their sports betting revenues or $7.5 million. But one of the bill’s sponsors, Assemblyman John Burzichelli disclosed that he didn’t expect that condition to be incorporated into the final law.

Estimations from the American Gaming Associations showed that Americans stake in excess of $150 billion annually on illegal sports gambling with most of this money going to offshore gambling companies.

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