Two Gambling Initiatives On New Jersey Ballots This Year

Next month, voters in New Jersey will be deciding on a pair of ballot initiatives that could expand the Garden State’s gambling market even further.

According to a report from New Jersey Spotlight News, one of the initiatives would allow gamblers to wager on in-state college athletics and the other would allow nonprofit groups to use gambling activities to help fun their organizations. Both would require the gambling aspects of the state Constitution to be rewritten.

Public Question No. 1 would alter the Constitution to allow for betting on all collegiate athletic events without any restrictions. Currently, New Jersey bettors are not allowed to wager on any collegiate events that are taking place in their home state, as well as any of the in-state colleges. If the amendment is passed, sports bettors could gamble on the outcomes of games involving Rutgers and Seton Hall University the two major Division I athletic programs in the Garden State.

When the rule was first written, it was implemented out of an abundance of caution to keep student-athletes from fixing matches. But since the NCAA recently adopted a policy allowing student-athletes to be compensated from their endorsements or use of their likeness, there is less of a chance that they could be influenced to alter the true outcome since the star athletes on these teams could already generate other revenue streams.

Some lawmakers also believe that lifting this restriction would generate more tax revenue for the state, which taxes brick-and-mortar betting at 8.5% and online wagering at 13%. With the 2025 NCAA men’s basketball tournament playing its eastern regional in Newark, there are some politicians that don’t want the government coffers to miss out on March Madness, which is one of the most bet on sporting events of the year.

Public Question No. 2 would change the laws surrounding gambling-oriented fundraisers for nonprofit organizations. Currently, groups like volunteer fire companies, religious organizations or veterans organizations that hold games of chance like bingo nights or raffles for fundraising would be forced to use any proceeds raised for a charitable cause.

If the public votes yes on the initiative, however, the groups could use those funds to further their objectives within the organization.

Voters will make the decision at the polls on Election Day, Nov. 2. Early voting will start on Oct. 23 and end Oct. 31.




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