With sports betting now legal in New Jersey, here’s what you need to know

Like these gamblers in the South Point hotel and casino in Las Vegas, bettors in New Jersey will be able to wager on sporting events beginning this week. (John Locher/AP Photo, file)

Like these gamblers in the South Point hotel and casino in Las Vegas, bettors in New Jersey will be able to wager on sporting events beginning this week. (John Locher/AP Photo, file)

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed legislation allowing the state’s casinos and racetracks to begin taking sports bets.

Murphy signed the measure Monday, making New Jersey the second state after Delaware to allow sports betting since a Supreme Court decision cleared the way for such gambling.

Monmouth Park racetrack in Oceanport has announced it will open for sports betting on Thursday at 10:30 a.m., and the governor is expected to place the first wager.

The basics

You must be 21 or older.

You cannot bet on a game if you are somehow involved with that specific game. This includes athletes, coaches, referees, and team owners.

For this reason, the Golden Nugget casino in Atlantic City cannot offer sports betting on NBA games because the casino owner, Tilman Fertitta, owns the Houston Rockets.

Where you can place a bet

  • Monmouth Park 6/14/18
  • Borgata 6/14/18
  • Golden Nugget – Fall 2018
  • Meadowlands Racetrack (Fall 2018)

Most other Atlantic City casinos — along with the Meadowlands Racetrack and Freehold Raceway — also plan to offer sports betting but have not laid out a timetable to begin. Here are the locations that are allowed to offer sports betting

  • Ballys
  • Caesar’s 
  • Hard Rock  
  • Harrah’s
  • Ocean Resort   
  • Resorts  
  • Tropicana  
  • Freehold raceway
  • Garden State Park *

The former Garden State Park racetrack is allowed to open a sports-betting parlor under the new law, qualifying as a “former racetrack” that was in operation in the last 15 years. Garden State Park closed in 2001 and is now the site of the Towne Place, a retail and residential complex that includes a Nordstrom Rack, Talborts and The Cheesecake Factory. One of the site’s developers, Jack Morris, told the website RIO-NJ last month that he plans to bring sports betting to Cherry Hill.  “We are under construction for a sports betting facility,” said Morris. 

Online betting

Casinos and racetracks can apply for online sports betting starting in early July.

What sports you can bet on

  • NFL games
  • NBA games
  • NHL games
  • MLB games
  • Professional soccer
  • Professional boxing
  • Professional auto racing

What you can’t bet on

Competitive video gaming

In-state high school or college sports games

Placing your bet

An explanation of the different types of bets is published in Monmouth Park Sports Book website.

STRAIGHT BET – A straight bet is an individual wager on a game or event that will be determined by a point spread, money line or total.

MONEY LINE — The money line represents the odds of a team winning the game outright without the use of the point spread. The money line is expressed as a three-digit number. For example -150 means players must bet $150 for every $100 they wish to win, $15 for every $10, and multiples thereof. Or, +140 means players will win $140 for every $100 they bet.

POINT SPREADThe most popular sports bets are based on the point spread, representing the margin of points in which the favored team must win by to “cover the spread.” Bets on the point spread are usually covered at 11-to-10 odds. For example, a player must bet $11 to win $10 for a total payout of $21 or $110 to win $100 for a total payout of $210.

PROPOSITIONS – Proposition bets, or “prop” bets, focus on the outcome of events within a given game. Prop wagers are on the outcome of events associated with a game, such as “which team will score the first touchdown?”

FUTURES – A future bet is a wager placed on an event typically far in the future, such as which team will win next year’s pro football championship game or pro hockey championship series. For most sports, the bet is a matter of odds. A $10 bet on the favored baseball team might pay out $12 for a win, while the underdog could bring you $18 on that same $10.

Impact on New Jersey

Sports betting will not be a huge money maker for New Jersey. Tax revenues to the state are only expected to reach about $13 million in the first year. Also New Jersey is not alone in offering sports betting. Nevada and Delaware offer sports betting, and more states are expected to follow.

South Jersey-based casino analyst Anthony Marino said Atlantic City will see a lot of interest from sports gamblers, but that won’t last forever. “For at least the rest of the year, I think it will be a major boon to Atlantic City,” Marino said. The problem is, although New Jersey brought the case that eventually reached the Supreme Court, the ruling opens up sports betting to all states. He expects other states to follow quickly.

The lasting impact on South New Jersey may depend on whether Atlantic City convinces those new visitors to come back.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

50% of WHYY’s funding comes from donations made by people just like you.