New Jersey bill clears the Golden path to NBA betting

New Jersey lawmakers have cleared the path for Golden Nugget to take bets on NBA games after lifting restrictions on owners of a professional sports team.

The New Jersey State Senate has passed Bill A5463, which reverses a ban on such owners from accepting wagers on that team’s sport.

In the Garden State, this applied to Golden Nugget owner Tilman Fertitta, the only casino owner who holds at least a 10 per cent stake in a professional team.

Fertitta only acquired the NBA’s Houston Rockets in September 2017, which explains why his reluctance to sell once PASPA fell in May of the following year.

However, the new bill – which passed the Assembly 76-0 in June and the Senate 26-1 on Monday – will still dictate that Golden Nugget can’t take bets on the Houston Rockets. 

Understandably, the basketball restriction has hit Golden Nugget hard in terms of sports betting revenues.

According to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), it has been the most bet-on sport since sports betting was legalised last year, with a total handle of more than $850 million.

Golden Nugget, meanwhile, has made just $539,503 from sports betting ($319,437 online and $220,066 for retail) – the second-lowest total of any New Jersey sportsbook.

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