- New Jersey bill A637 would allow esports and other events to be made legal in the Garden State for wagers.
- Dennis Drazin, a pillar in the sports betting community, discussed what A637 would do should it be made legal in New Jersey.
- Since legalizing sports betting in 2018, New Jersey has taken in over $582 million in revenue from the market.
TRENTON, N.J. – The New Jersey sports betting industry has a new bill on the table that would make revisions to the state’s current sports gambling laws.
Dennis Drazin, CEO of Monmouth Park explained to LegalSportsBetting the purpose behind the measure, NJ A637, along with bill sponsor Assemblyman Ronald Dancer.
What Is A637?
New Jersey sports betting has a new bill called A637 that passed in the General Assembly’s Tourism, Gaming, and the Arts Committee in March but has been put on the back burner until all COVID-19 related issues have been dealt with.
Dancer is fairly confident that once all pressing government topics have been addressed relating to the Coronavirus Pandemic crisis that A637 should have no problem in the New Jersey Legislature.
“After passing our Gaming Committee unanimously, I am not aware of any objections or opposition at this time,” said Dancer to LegalSportsBetting in regards to A637 moving forward.
A637 revises wording in the current sports betting law in the Garden State as well as expand upon some of the offerings such as esports.
Dennis Drazin, a member of the Sports Betting Hall of Fame and a man that has worked tirelessly for seven years to help overturn PASPA and get legal sports betting to New Jersey, sat down with LegalSportsBetting to discuss what A637 would be doing for the industry of the Garden State.
“Under the existing law, the term sports event includes a wide variety of events, this bill expands the list of sporting events to include skilled based attractions, including award competitions and competitive eating contests,” said Drazin. “The director of the division would have to certify that a sporting event is approved for wagering and have appropriate policies and procedures in place to monitor the integrity of the event.”
“Under the existing law, there are certain types of events that are prohibited sporting events and you can’t wager on them at all. This bill expands prohibited sports events to include electronic sports competitions. Where you have contests that related with high school competition or competitors where the majority of competitors are under age 18, the list is expanded to prohibit those events to protect the younger population,” said Drazin.
Esports would be a welcome inclusion to the New Jersey sports betting market and under A637 it will be made legal to wager on.
However, the majority of competitors must be 18 or older for the event to be viable for sportsbooks to include bets on esports or esports events for gamblers.
This rule would be implemented to protect minors as many other states that have esports stipulate within their own laws on the subject.
“I think esports is a growing area and this is a step in the right direction, keeping in mind that we help protect the integrity of the sport and make sure that our minors that are involved in these growing games are protected,” said Drazin.
What Can New Jersey Expect?
After sports betting became legal in New Jersey, the industry soared. And not only is New Jersey profiting greatly from it, it allows gamblers in the state consumer safeties and transparencies that would not be had if they sought wagers elsewhere.
“One thing that everybody needs to understand is that before the Supreme Court said that PASPA was unconstitutional, this was a $400 billion illegal operation in this country. Run pretty much by the offshore companies and the bookmakers so I knew the market was there,” said Drazin.
With the passage of A637, gamblers in New Jersey could bet on the Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest with their in-state sportsbook or wager on League of Legends events.
The Garden State has already been dubbed the Las Vegas of the East Coast and could very well surpass Las Vegas in revenue.
Since 2018, New Jersey has seen $582,639,000 in revenue from legal wagering on sporting events. Per Drazin, states with high densities in population will have a larger handle overall.
Drazin fought and dedicated so much of his time to help repeal PASPA because he believed in the cause.
Now, he and Dancer are trying to make the legal sports betting market in New Jersey that much better, adding protections as well as more events to the legal sports menu.
The New Jersey Legislature adjourns on December 31, 2020, so they have until then to decide on the fate of A637.
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.