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Sports Betting Beat: NJ Looking to Allow Bets on In-State College Teams

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:
May/05/2021

Voters will likely be the one's who decide on whether those in New Jersey can bet on in-state schools.

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The November ballot will likely include a referendum asking voters if they approve on betting on school teams like the Rutgers Scarlett Knights and Seton Hall Pirates.

The Senate introduced a similar measure last fall, but never got a hearing in the Assembly.

The Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee unanimously endorsed the proposed constitutional amendment last Thursday.

It remains to be seen whether voters will go for it.  Not everyone gambles and not everyone will think it's a good idea to have others bet on their kids.

“Time has proved that this has been a very beneficial bill. It has gone on without any problems – or none that we know of,” Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling, D-Monmouth, said. “And I think it’s been run very, very well. So, we thought the time was right now to include college sports for sports betting. And I think it will also be a big boon for casinos, the racetracks and those venues that are kind of really struggling now.”

There are fears over integrity in college sports once gambling is introduced.

“We’ll monitor it to make sure that the ethical standards are being withheld because the oversight part is important,” said Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, D-Essex. “So, we’ll see. Let’s give the public an opportunity to vote on it.

“Obviously it will help the industry,” he said. “But as far as the questions of ethics, etc., we’ll have to keep an eye on it.”

Outside of the Seton Hall basketball program, New Jersey is not known for their successful college teams.  That all changed last year when the Rutgers basketball team played especially well prior to the pandemic.  This past season they advanced in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament and nearly beat number two seed Houston.

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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