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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Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey
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Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey
Kip Deville with jockey Cornelio H. Velasquez in the irons crosses the finish line to win the Breeders' Cup Mile at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey October 27, 2007. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn (UNITED STATES)
OCEANPORT, NJ - JULY 29: Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah is washed at Monmouth Park Race Track for Sunday's William Hill Haskell Invitational on July 29, 2015 in Oceanport, New Jersey. (Photo by Horsephotos/Getty Images)
Midnight Lute with jockey Garrett K. Gomez in the irons wins the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey, October 27, 2007. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn (UNITED STATES)
A race fan counts his winnings after an early race before the Breeder's Cup at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey October 27, 2007. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES)
OCEANPORT, NJ - JULY 31: Exaggerator #6, ridden by Kent J. Desormeaux, wins the betfair.com Haskell Invitational Stakes at Monmouth Park on July 31, 2016 in Oceanport, New Jersey. (Photo by Sue Kawczynski/Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images)
OCEANPORT, NJ - JULY 31: Jockey Kent J. Desormeaux of Exaggerator celebrates with the connections after winning the betfair.com Haskell Invitational Stakes at Monmouth Park on July 31, 2016 in Oceanport, New Jersey. (Photo by Sam Bussanich/Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images)
OCEANPORT, NJ - JULY 31: Exaggerator #6, ridden by Kent J. Desormeaux, wins the betfair.com Haskell Invitational Stakes ahead of American Freedom, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, at Monmouth Park on July 31, 2016 in Oceanport, New Jersey. (Photo by Jon Durr/Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images)
MONMOUTH, NJ - AUGUST 2: Victor Espinoza atop American Pharoah #4 is lead out to the start of the 48th William Hill Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on August 2, 2015 in Monmouth, New Jersey. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
MONMOUTH, NJ - AUGUST 2: Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah ridden by Victor Espinoza wins The William Hill Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on August 2, 2015 in Monmouth, New Jersey. (Photo by Horsephotos/Getty Images)
Curlin with jockey Robby Albarado between the irons crosses the finish line to win the Breeders' Cup Classic race at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey, October 27, 2007. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer (UNITED STATES)
Ginger Punch with jockey Rafael Bejarano celebrates winning the Breeders' Cup Distaff race at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey October 27, 2007. REUTERS/Molly Riley (UNITED STATES)
Ginger Punch with jockey Rafael Bejarano celebrates winning Breeders' Cup Distaff race with owner Frank Stronach (R) and trainer Robert J. Frankel at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey, October 27, 2007. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer (UNITED STATES)
A race fan watches an early race before the Breeder's Cup at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey, October 27, 2007. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES)
A race fan watches an early race before the Breeder's Cup at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey, October 27, 2007. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES)
Indian Blessing with jockey Garrett K. Gomez in the irons crosses the finish line to win horse racing's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies race at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey, October 27, 2007. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer (UNITED STATES)
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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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