New Jersey Voters Uphold In-State College Sports Betting Ban

New Jersey sports bettors and New York sports bettors who cross state lines who hoped New Jersey voters would amend the state’s constitution to allow for college sports betting received some unfortunate news today. On the heels of a statewide election on Nov. 2, voters upheld New Jersey’s in-state college sports betting ban.

New Jersey Public Question 1, featured on the state’s ballot, was defeated Tuesday. The measure received 809,904 (43.35%) votes for and 1,058,383 (56.65%) against.

What Would Have Changed?

The defeated measure would’ve amended the New Jersey state constitution to allow sports betting on games and events including an in-state school. New Jersey currently allows college sports betting, but bettors are prohibited from placing a wager on any match that includes a New Jersey School, such as Rutgers, and any events that take place in New Jersey.

However, since the measure was defeated, that ban remains in place. New Jersey bettors can still place bets on college match-ups, so long as they don’t include any in-state college teams and do not take place in New Jersey. In fact, sportsbooks won’t even list odds for New Jersey college games because it remains unlawful to do so.

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Why Did Voters Oppose The Measure?

It’s difficult to determine every voter’s motivation, but there are a few reasons New Jersey residents could have opposed the measure. First is just a general aversion to gambling. Every state has anti-gambling groups that fight to stem the spread of legal and regulated betting.

More likely, however, is that voters were concerned about foul play among college teams. With young athletes taking the field, there’s a justifiable concern that game rigging could be possible, especially considering NCAA athletes don’t get paid. This has yet to pose an issue in states that do allow in-state college sports betting, but it could still spur some voters to oppose measures as they did with this one.

Other Nearby Options

Even though New Jersey’s attempt to expand college sports betting was defeated, bettors still have a few options to wager on NJ college teams. Across the Delaware River, Pennsylvania has no restrictions on college sports betting. New Jersey and New York bettors close to the border can drive to PA and place bets online that way.

Connecticut is an option, too. Although you cannot bet on Connecticut college teams while in Connecticut, the state does not have restrictions on betting on New Jersey college teams and events.

Eventually, New York will have sports betting available online as well, with no NJ college betting restrictions.

About the Author

Cole Rush

Cole Rush is New York Sports Day's News Editor. Cole is a Chicago-based writer in the gambling, media, and entertainment space. His work has been showcased in various gaming industry magazines and online columns.

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