Assembly Panel OKs Measure to Allow Betting on NJ Colleges

Assembly Panel OKs Measure to Allow Betting on NJ Colleges
By Lou Monaco

Betting on New Jersey college sports events and on state college teams has moved a step closer to reality.

As of now in New Jersey, you can’t wager on any college sporting event held in the state, nor on games involving any New Jersey college teams.

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That could change, now that ACR200 passed through the Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee Wednesday by a unanimous (7-0) vote, moving it one step closer to being put on the ballot in November.

In October, the NCAA chose the Prudential Center in Newark as a site of the 2025 NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament Regional Semifinals (Sweet 16) and Regional Final (Elite Eight) competition.

New Jersey, host to many college and tournament events, is home to eight NCAA Division I men’s and women’s college programs: Fairleigh Dickinson, Monmouth, NJIT, Princeton, Rider, Rutgers, Saint Peter’s and Seton Hall. Monmouth, Rutgers and Princeton field football teams.

Rutgers, which made the NCAA Men's Tournament field for the first time in 30 years, was a No. 10 seed in the Midwest bracket. The Scarlet Knights beat No. 7 Clemson in the first round, 60-56, before falling to No. 2 Houston in the second round, 63-60. The Cougars reached the Final Four, losing to eventual champion Baylor in the national semifinals, 78-59.

Senate Has Similar Bill

State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D) introduced a bill in 2020 that would allow wagering on in-state college events and then he expanded it a few weeks later to include wagering on in-state college programs including football and college basketball betting.

Last November, the Senate bill passed unanimously in the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, but it still needs approval before the full Senate and General Assembly. It seems almost assured to pass with widespread support.

The bill would then place a constitutional amendment question on the state’s 2021 ballot for New Jersey voters to decide.



Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media ( in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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