Legalized sports betting is now underway in New Jersey.
Governor Phil Murphy made the first wager at Monmouth Park in Oceanport.
“I’m betting $20 on Germany to win the World Cup and $20 on the Devils to win Lord Stanley’s Cup. Let’s go.”
Several state lawmakers then joined hundreds of sports fans in placing their wagers.
Spring Lake resident Peter Kizenko was one of them.
“I’ve been looking forward to it for years. When you win now you don’t have to worry about people disappearing to get your money. Always a good thing.”
Hazlet resident Alex Pniewski took off from work to be there.
“I think it’s a great thing. I think it’s going to be fun for the sports fan. They come down, relax, put a couple dollars on a game, not overboard, 20 or 30 dollars. And it’s just the atmosphere, staring at the board, people communicating with each other, taking about what they bet. It’s just a good time.”
Long Branch resident Carla Altschuld says she never wagered on sports before but was eager to give it a try.
“I have to admit I wouldn’t be here at 10:30 in the morning on the first day if I weren’t.” How often do you think you might do something like this? “Oh, my son is going to be a regular, so I have to admit I’m going to be a regular with him.”
Dennis Drazin is the chairman of Darby Development, the operator of Monmouth Park. He says sports betting will give the state’s race tracks and casinos the revenue they need to flourish.
“This means survival for Monmouth Park. It means that the horsemen no longer have to worry about closure. It means 13,000 jobs, 176,00 open and preserved acres in the state, a $4 billion industry has been saved.”
The Borgata Casino in Atlantic City is also taking sports bets.
Online wagering will be allowed within 30 days, and other casinos and race tracks are planning to offer sports betting.
The state estimates it will get about 13 million dollars in tax revenue from sports betting in the first full year of operation.
Click below to hear the WBGO Journal version of the story from Doug Doyle.