New Jersey remains one signature away from having a fully legal sports betting framework after its legislature voted unanimously to pass a bill that will regulate and tax sports betting at the garden state’s casinos and racetracks this week. It is now in the hands of governor Phil Murphy who must give the final sign off before operators can open their books for bettors.

While operators will be keen to see the bill make it through the final hurdle, the major sports leagues will be less than delighted with its contents, none of which cater for their highly prized integrity fee or anti-fraud measures.

The office of governor Murphy has yet to confirm when the bill will be signed off, but given that he is a fan of sports betting, it ought to be a mere formality. It said in a statement on Thursday: “Governor Murphy looks forward to closely reviewing the sports betting legislation that was recently passed by the Legislature. The Governor has long been supportive of New Jersey’s right to allow sports betting and he wants to ensure that the proposed regulatory scheme is fair and reasonable.”

The upshot for New Jersey is that it is just a matter of days before bettors can begin placing wagers on their favourite sports at casinos in Atlantic City and Monmouth Park Racetrack. And the passage of the bill is neatly timed with the impending FIFA World Cup as well as the National Basketball Association finals approaching. There will be plenty of betting action for all concerned.

SBC Americas analysis: This landmark development has been a long time in the making for New Jersey, the state that took the fight to government and paved the way for the rest of the US to take a legal slice of the sports betting cake. Delaware may well have pipped them to the post in terms of winning the race to be first to go legal, but that won’t make the passage of NJ’s bill any less sweet.