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New Jersey AG: Skip The Illegal Sports Betting This Fall

Written By Derek Helling on September 6, 2023
new jersey attorney general matt platkin speaks

With college football underway for another year and the 2023-24 NFL regular season literally a day away, legal sportsbooks around the United States are in the throes of their busiest time of the year. New Jersey officials want to ensure they are busier than ever in 2023.

A recent advisory notice from the state’s top law enforcement officer urges New Jerseyans to relegate their sports bets and fantasy sports contest entries to regulated channels for those activities. The advisory also lists many reasons to follow the advice.

Regulated sports betting widely available in New Jersey

The University of Rutgers Scarlet Knights got their 2023 season off to a good start with a 24-7 win over Northwestern this past Saturday. Using licensed and regulated sportsbooks can ensure the next few months are similarly successful for football fans in the state.

Sports wagering is a significant driver of revenue in New Jersey. For example, sportsbooks won $61 million from bettors in New Jersey during July, the most recent month for which numbers are available. That activity is set to exponentially increase for the rest of the year with football games happening.

Because of that popularity, New Jersey offers bettors 12 places to legally bet on sports in person. Those include Atlantic City casinos and racetracks around the state. In addition, there are more than 20 licensed apps available for online sports betting in New Jersey.

For fantasy sports enthusiasts, there are eight options to choose from which have licenses to operate in New Jersey. There are reasons to use those operators beyond the convenience and variety, though. In fact, as New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin’s office states, the reasons include protections for bettors.

Platkin lays out the case for legal wagering

A Sept. 1 release from Platkin’s office lays out the case for why New Jerseyans should “steer clear of illegal sites when betting on professional and college football or engaging in fantasy sports activities related to those sports.” The arguments center around state law on the matter plus consumer protections. Since launching online gambling, New Jersey has been a leader in stressing responsible gambling in the state.

As the release mentions, “all sportsbook operators doing business in New Jersey must hold a valid sports wagering license.” The same applies to fantasy sports sites accepting real-money entry fees from players in New Jersey.

On the subject of protections for consumers, a quote from New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement Director David Rebuck makes the benefits of regulation clear.

“The problems with illegal sportsbooks are numerous,” Rebuck said. “They lack oversight to ensure customers are actually paid what they won as well as security protocols to safeguard sensitive personal and financial information, like Social Security numbers and bank data.”

For those uncertain of whether the gambling entity they are interacting with is legal in New Jersey, the state maintains a list of approved fantasy operators. The same goes for a list of licensed sportsbooks.

These same facts also apply to online casinos in New Jersey. Only using regulated apps and websites for online casino play is important for all the same reasons. These premises apply throughout the year, too, not just during football season.

Photo by AP Photo/Mike Catalini
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

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