NJ Won’t Let You Bet on Certain March Madness Games
Once again, you can not make a wager on any NCAA March Madness action involving a New Jersey team. But this time around, it's your fault.
New Jersey voters in November voted down a proposal to amend the constitution and allow bets on in-state college games and teams. Sports betting is permitted in the state, but this is an exception.
"It is something that makes New Jersey a little bit more limited than some of our surrounding states like Pennsylvania and Maryland," said Harry Jackson, an attorney with the gaming practice group at Fox Rothschild in Atlantic City. "You may see a lot of New Jerseyans just pick up and go over the bridge and place bets there."
On the men's side of the "March Madness," Saint Peter's is scheduled to play Kentucky on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. Seton Hall's first-round matchup against TCU tips off just before 10 p.m. on Friday. Rutgers fell short of its quest to enter the round of 64 with a double-overtime loss Wednesday night to Notre Dame.
In the first round of the women's NCAA tournament, Princeton will face Kentucky on Saturday.
None of those games can be wagered on within New Jersey's borders — you also can't place bets on how any of New Jersey's teams will perform overall in their respective tournaments.
New Jersey opponents to betting on college teams and games fear that the promise of payouts could sway the performance of players who may not otherwise make much money for their participation.The NCAA in 2021, though, approved a ruling that permits student athletes to capitalize off their name, image and likeness.
New York also doesn't permit wagers on in-state college games and teams.
March Madness coming to New Jersey
In 2020, Prudential Center in Newark was announced as one of the many host sites for the men's NCAA basketball tournament in the year 2025.
The venue will host the series of East Regional games, and as things stand now, you won't be able to wager on any of them, no matter who's playing, because they'll be happening in the Garden State.
"We really have one more crack at this if we want to change the constitution to allow in-state wagering before that happens," Jackson said.
Jackson predicts the issue will go before New Jersey voters again before 2025.
"It will be interesting to see if public opinion will change by then," Jackson said.
Jackson said much of the public likely didn't know exactly what they were voting for or against in November 2021.