New Jersey Betting Restrictions on Colleges in Focus As Conference Tourneys Begin

New Jersey Betting Restrictions on Colleges in Focus As Conference Tourneys Begin
By Lou Monaco
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

With COVID-19 restrictions being lifted throughout New Jersey, all eyes of the college basketball world are on conference tournaments this week, culminating with Selection Sunday.

You would assume automatically you could wager on games if the state has legalized sports betting.

And, of course, you would be wrong.

New Jersey prohibits betting on college sports involving in-state teams and/or any collegiate event held within the state. Despite these restrictions, the state set a record for betting handle in January.

That means that, this week, if you are a New Jersey resident with a legal mobile sports betting account, you can’t bet on the lone post-season conference tournament held within the state.

The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Tournament at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City starts Tuesday and runs thru Saturday. The tourney features three New Jersey teams (Monmouth, Rider and Saint Peter’s), as well as six New York teams (Canisius, Iona, Manhattan, Marist, Niagara and Siena) and two Connecticut schools (Fairfield and Quinnipiac).

In total, 10 games involving 11 teams, on which zero wagers can be placed in the Garden State.

Other New Jersey schools that you can’t bet on this week: Princeton (Ivy), Rutgers (Big 10) and Seton Hall (Big East).

No Go at the Polls

Last November, state residents voted against allowing in-state college sports betting on teams or events held in the state. More than one million people (1,055,709, 56.64%) voted no to the ballot question and 808,321 (43.36%) voted yes.

Voters weighed in on this referendum question:

Do you approve amending the Constitution to permit wagering through casinos and current or former horse racetracks on all college sport or athletic events that are held in the State?

At the time, many questioned the lack of publicity efforts to educate the public on the referendum by supporters of the bill and sports betting companies that currently operate in New Jersey.

Last June, the state Assembly passed SCR133 — with Assembly Concurrent Resolution 200 — to allow sports betting on in-state college teams and in-state college tournaments and events by a vote of 70-4.

New Jersey has had legal sports betting since 2018 and residents can wager on college sports on teams not in New Jersey and events held outside the state. You can get more info on betting on college basketball games legally here.

If there is no change in legislation, bettors also will be affected when the NCAA men’s basketball tournament comes to the Prudential Center in downtown Newark in March 2025. Seton Hall will be the host school.

The event will mark the first East Regional at the Prudential Center since 2011, when No. 4 Kentucky defeated No. 2 North Carolina in the Region Final.



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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