Legal sports betting in New Jersey is no live as the state’s Gov. Philip D. Murphy placed the first two bets in the state, which is likely to see an influx of gamblers go to Atlantic City to bet on their favorite sports teams.
Passing the bill that would allow legal sports betting in New Jersey wasn’t easy as it took nearly a decade to make it happen. The first two bets were made by Gov. Murphy in small receipts about the size of baseball cards, including a $20 wager for Germany to win this year’s World Cup with 7-2 odds and a $20 bet on the New Jersey Devils to win the Stanley Cup in the 2018-19 season with 40-1 odds.
The wagers were placed on Thursday, marking the beginning of an effort to legalize sports betting as a way to help the struggling Atlantic City casinos and the state’s racetracks compete with the luxury and free-gambling nature of Las Vegas.
The bill was passed last month in a landmark Supreme Court ruling that set aside the federal law that had been stopping the state from sports betting, which is still illegal in most of the country.
“There’s an old adage that you bet with your head, not with your heart,” Mr. Murphy said. “So, for the past seven years, our heads and our hearts were in alignment as we fought to overturn an unlawful and unfair federal law.”