N.J. governor signs sports betting into law, wagering to begin Thursday

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation Monday officially making sports betting legal in the state. New Jersey racetracks and casinos will begin offering sports betting on Thursday.

"Today, we're finally making the dream of legalized sports betting a reality for New Jersey," Murphy said in a statement. "I'm thrilled to sign Assembly Bill 4111 because it means that our casinos in Atlantic City and our racetracks throughout our state can attract new business and new fans, boosting their own long-term financial prospects. This is the right move for New Jersey and it will strengthen our economy."

The first official site where sports bets can be placed will be horse track Monmouth Park, which voiced plans to open its sports book May 28 before the state announced it would install legislation to regulate the industry.

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Dennis Drazin, CEO of the company which operates Monmouth Park, said that Murphy will place the first bet. Retired state senator Ray Lesniak, long a proponent of legalizing sports betting in the state, said he would not be far behind.

"$50 on France to win the World Cup," Lesniak reportedly quipped Monday.

The New Jersey legislature unanimously approved bills last Thursday that would legalize sports betting -- the Assembly voted 73-0 in favor, and the Senate voted 37-0.

The state of New Jersey led the legal battle against various sports leagues that lasted six years before the Supreme Court's ruling on May 14, which deemed the federal ban on state-sponsored sports betting -- via the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 -- to be unconstitutional.

Last Tuesday, Delaware became the first state other than Nevada to offer wagers on sporting events since PAPSA was passed.

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