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New Jersey Governor Signs DFS Bill

- August 28, 2017 By Oliver Young -

The NJ law doesn't exclude college sports explicitly.

NJ follows 15th other US states which have legalised DFS.

New Jersey’s gambling and betting market is one of the most vibrant in the US. This is a state where gambling is legal in parts of the country and online gambling is also legalised and popular. Even though last year its citizens rejected the idea of opening casinos outside Atlantic City, the industry is still thriving.

Betting legalisation supporters in the state are destined to fight their battle and legalise sports betting, but those who are against it say that legalising online betting would be a breach of a federal act – The Wire Act. On the other hand, there are claims that the Wire Act is unconstitutional and that’s one of the main arguments used by New Jersey at the Supreme Court.

And if legalising betting might have to wait, the legalisation of daily fantasy sports (DFS) is here. Namely, New Jersey became the 16th state in the US to legalise daily fantasy sports. There’s still a long way to go, but the number of states that have legalised DFS is rather impressive.

DFS Operators Already Present in NJ

The Governor Chris Christie finally signed the legal act which was passed back in July. Despite the fact that the law has been signed before the beginning of the NFL season, it is rather unfortunate that it won’t be enforced before 90 days pass.

The interesting thing is that DFS giants like DraftKings and FanDuel are already present in New Jersey, as it was determined previously that they aren’t breaching any state laws. That was ruled by the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement, whereas now all operators that are willing to offer DFS to citizens of New Jersey will have to submit an application to the Division of Consumer Affairs.

By the new law, DFS companies will be required to pay a gross gaming tax, which has not been the case before. It will be a 10.5% tax which will have to be paid on all revenue that comes from wagers placed by players from, NJ and it is estimated that the annual tax income for the state would be around $6.5 million.

No College DFS Prohibition

Another novelty is that DFS operators will be permitted to cooperate with the casinos and racetracks situated in AC. It has already been announced that Resorts Casino has already paired with SportAD and the two will work together on the new FastPick fantasy service. The two companies are looking into the future, as the service could be expanded into a regular sports betting service.

Unlike other states where it is explicitly prohibited to include college sports in the list of offered DFS, New Jersey’s law doesn’t contain such provisions. High school competitions are explicitly excluded though. Some speculate that the lack of omission of college sports from the law is New Jersey’s revenge for the NCAA’s continuous attempts to block New Jersey from legalising regular sports betting. However, despite the fact that citizens of New Jersey are permitted to place DFS wagers on college sports, no DFS operator includes college sports in its offer.

It’s a shame that Senator Jim Whelan, one of the biggest proponents of betting and gambling legalisation, couldn’t witness this victory, as he passed away earlier last week.

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