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Senate leadership unveils tax rates for sports betting revenue

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Hours after a court decision set the stage for legalized sports betting in the Garden State, elected officials were ironing out how to cash in on the new revenue.

A trio of state senators have advanced a proposal for an 8 percent gross revenue tax on in-person wagering, along with a 12.5 percent levy on sports bets.

The funds generated would go towards programs for senior citizens and the disabled, while an additional 1.25 percent tax on racetrack gaming revenue would be handed out to the host municipalities and counties.

“We want to act quickly to capitalize on the Court’s decision so that we can get sports gaming in place and operating in New Jersey,” said Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-3rd District, one of the bill’s sponsors, in a Monday afternoon statement.

The measure is also sponsored by Senators Jeff Van Drew, D-1st District, and Vin Gopal, D-11th District.

The legislation is in response to the United State Supreme Court’s decision, released Monday morning, to strike down the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which limited sports betting to four states and excluded New Jersey.

“We have a competitive advantage with a long history of casino gaming including a regulatory infrastructure that has been operating for decades,” Sweeney said. “It will be a natural transition to incorporate sports gaming by the casino and the racetracks.”

Under the proposal, Atlantic City casinos, along with current and former racetracks in the state, would be able to conduct wagering on professional and collegiate sporting events, under the supervision of the Casino Control Commission and the Division of Gaming Enforcement.

The DGE and the New Jersey Racing Commission, under the bill, would be responsible for licensing and rolling out regulations over sports betting.

Sports betters would have to be at least 21 years old, and would not be allowed to wager on athletic events happening in New Jersey, or any competitions including a New Jersey college, regardless of where that team is competing.

Sports governing bodies, athletes, coaches, referees and team owners would be barred from owning or operating any sports-betting facility.

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Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel Munoz covers politics and state government for NJBIZ. You can contact him at dmunoz@njbiz.com.

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