While they haven’t had the impact that they thought they might in the state of New Jersey with their poker product, The Stars Group isn’t shying away from their involvement in the state. On Friday, The Stars Group and their casino partner Resorts Casino Hotel announced that BetStars (the online sports betting operations for the company) was open for business for New Jersey customers.
Available Through PokerStars’ New Jersey Operations
The new sports betting outlet is something that has been added on to the online poker and casino offerings that The Stars Group had with their partners in Resorts. PokerStarsNJ and PokerStarsCasinoNJ have both been online for several months now, but the sports betting operations weren’t allowed until recently. It is something that The Stars Group has been waiting for anxiously.
“We are excited to introduce BetStars to New Jersey sports fans,” said Matt Primeaux, the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Operations/USA with The Stars Group. “As one of the largest online gaming companies in the world with millions of customers worldwide, we have successfully launched BetStars in regulated markets across Europe and look forward to expanding and enhancing our New Jersey BetStars offering, including through leveraging the Sky Betting & Gaming acquisition following approval from the UK Competition and Markets Authority, to provide a premier product and experience to our customers in this new and developing market.”
For those new to mobile betting, the BetStarsNJ sports book will offer all the bells and whistles that once were found only in Las Vegas sports books. Such options as in-game betting, money line wagers and point spread bets will be offered across a variety of sports, including professional and college football, basketball, baseball and other popular sports in the States of America. Also of interest to bettors would be different proposition (“prop”) bets, such as whether New York Giant wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will have 100 yards receiving or not.
The availability of sports betting has taken off in the Garden State. In August alone, $74 million was wagered at live sites in New Jersey casinos and racetracks, while another $21.7 million was taken in by the mobile operations, according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. These results are also likely to increase as the National Football League kicks into high gear.
All Because of One SCOTUS Ruling
The new action in sports books in New Jersey is a direct result of actions by the attorneys for the state and the U. S. Supreme Court. When it was looking to start sports betting in 2012, the federal government decided they would try to enforce the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 and stop the New Jersey state government. The state, naturally, filed a case in federal court to allow the state to offer sports betting to its customers.
That case took over five years – and saw lower courts rule against the state of New Jersey – before the SCOTUS decided to hear arguments on the case. In December 2017, the nine Justices heard arguments on the case and asked both sides difficult questions regarding the PASPA statute. After the arguments were completed, it was thought that the SCOTUS would find in favor of New Jersey in the case, it was just a question of how far they would go (fully finding PASPA unconstitutional, finding it only applicable to New Jersey or finding for the federal government).
When the ruling came down in May 2018, it was a seismic shock to the status of gaming in the States of America. Not only did the SCOTUS rule that PASPA was unconstitutional, they also ruled that, while the federal government did have SOME say over regulation, it was up to the states as to whether they wanted to offer it to their citizens. This has started a “gold rush” of legislation from Delaware, Pennsylvania, Mississippi and New Jersey to be able to earn the revenues on the activity.
While New Jersey and other states continue to figure out the sports betting question for themselves, the federal government is still looking at some regulations for the industry. Rumors have been floated by Senators Orrin Hatch of Utah (an original author of PASPA) and Chuck Schumer of New York that legislation will be introduced to regulate the industry. With such actions potentially in the hopper (they would have to work quickly in Washington D. C. as, come the start of January, this Congressional session will end and any bill not put through will “die”), more states are going to get in on the action.