NJ Governor Allows Betting on NBA Games at the Golden Nugget

NJ Governor Allows Betting on NBA Games at the Golden Nugget

New Jersey’s unapologetic pro-sports betting Governor, Phil Murphy, has signed into the Garden State’s law books, a bill allowing Atlantic City’s Golden Nugget casino and its sister online sportsbook to now accept legal wagers on the majority of National Basketball Association (NBA) games.

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It is important ruling and crucially positive outcome for both the sports betting consumer and the Golden Nugget itself. Since legal sports betting arrived in the Garden State of New Jersey in June 2018, more money has been wagered on basketball (more than $ 850 million) at the state’s land-based and online sportsbooks than on any other sport, as figures released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement NJDGE show.

What Changed?

Texas billionaire Tilman Fertitta owns the Atlantic City casino – and until now, somewhat controversially also owns the NBA’s Houston Rockets. When New Jersey’s legislators legalized sports betting in May 2018, a provision in the Garden State’s law banned team owners from either placing or being able to accept bets on any basketball or other matches involving their sport.

The proviso was aimed squarely at the Golden Nugget Casino in Atlantic City and its online sportsbook arm and was introduced under protestations that Nevada regulators sanctioned Fertitta’s casinos to accepted wagers on pro basketball games as long as they did not involve the Houston Rockets as participants.

The bill that Governor Murphy signed law last week brings New Jersey into line with those that apply in the states of Mississippi and Nevada, both of which also allow Fertitta’s sister hotel casinos to accept NBA wagers in games that don’t involve the Rockets.

Steve Scheinthal, general counsel for the Golden Nugget’s parent company, Houston-based Landry’s Inc was happy to give thanks to Governor Murphy’s common sense decision to allow for an open and fair playing field for all of New Jersey’s online sportsbooks;

“We’re grateful, and appreciative that people eventually realized this was an overreaction,” Mr Scheinthal said, “It allows us to compete.”

Why Governor Murphy’s Decision is Important

Effectively, the ban on the Golden Nugget’s New Jersey sports betting business by eliminating all NBA bets cut badly into bettor interest on NBA and other basketball games. Usually, online players are typically not prepared nor willing to visit two different online sportsbooks in order to place their daily or weekly sports wagers.

Any online gambler wanting to place bets on baseball, hockey, or football on the Golden Nugget Online Sportsbook had to go to another online site to bet on basketball, making it much less likely they would visit the Golden Nugget at all for their sports betting requirements.

Mr Scheinthal said; “You just can’t compete that way. It gave everyone a year’s head start on us,” “It was like going into a boxing ring with one arm tied behind your back”.

What’s more, Governor Murphy’s decision helps empower the sports betting consumer to choose and use wherever and whichever casino they see fit – whether it be an online casino or a land-based one. It’s in the spirit of the court case that handed New Jersey the right to offer sports betting in the first place.

Remember, New Jersey won a U.S. Supreme Court case back in May 2018 clearing the way for all 50 states to offer sports betting should they so choose to do so, and apply whichever model best suit the needs of their respective state.

Since that time, more than $3.7 billion of sports wagers have been made in the Garden State, which now sees New Jersey taking on Nevada for the outright leadership in national sports betting revenue raising.

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