- Currently, bettors are unable to wager on local college sports in New Jersey.
- A constitutional amendment needs only voter approval to change that fact.
- A recent poll suggests that voter approval is unlikely at the moment.
TRENTON, N.J. - The future of sports betting in New Jersey is hazy at the moment, but a recent poll released by Fairleigh Dickinson University carries bad news for anyone who wishes to wager on college sports in New Jersey.
While New Jersey has long had access to gambling, even becoming something of a destination for those who enjoy the hobby, sports betting has been slightly restricted in the state.
Currently, wagering on nearly any sporting event is allowed, with the exception of local college athletics.
In November, there will be a ballot measure up for public vote that would allow for betting on local collegiate athletics in New Jersey.
The restriction may seem arbitrary, but there seems to be widespread public support for keeping things the way they are in the state. 49% of those polled said that they opposed the change to the state’s constitution, while only 25% were in favor of the change. 26% of respondents said that they were unsure, or did not want to answer the question.
The fact that there are so many unsure voters means that there is a chance for the gambling bill, but the fact that so many people are sure of their opposition is a bad sign.
Future Of NJ College Sports Betting
Dan Cassino, executive director of the poll, mentioned that a potential cause could just be that change is not particularly welcome at the time, and that voters seem comfortable with gambling as it is currently constituted in New Jersey.
“This change might have had a better chance in a higher turnout year. But among the voters who tend to turn out the most, there’s just no appetite for expanding gaming yet again," said Cassino. “As it is, opposition is some combination of not wanting to change things without understanding the options, and just plain opposition to more expansion of gambling in the state. Supporters have to explain what they’re proposing, and hope that voters are going to buy in.”
Cassino’s comments on turnout could end up being quite important, as the bill is widely opposed by seniors.
Only 11% of seniors, who are disproportionately likely to vote compared to young people, supported the bill. By contrast, 36% of voters under 35 support the measure. Not great, but certainly not the abysmal 11% the bill has amongst seniors.
It seems as though advocates of this form of gambling in New Jersey have plenty of campaigning to do if they want this bill to end up as law.