New Jersey has gone live this morning – Thursday June 14 – with a fully legal sports betting offer, with Democratic state Governor Phil Murphy completing the first, widely publicised wager at Monmouth Park racetrack. Murphy placed two bets of $20 each; the first on Germany to win the FIFA World Cup and a second on New Jersey Devils to triumph in next year’s Stanley Cup. The bets were placed via William Hill US, America’s leading sports book operator.

Governor Murphy was joined onsite by State Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, former State Senator Raymond Lesniak, Dennis Drazin, Chairman and CEO of Darby Development, operator of Monmouth Park, and William Hill US CEO Joe Asher.

“We are excited to open for business at Monmouth Park,” said Asher. “Obviously, it’s a big day for us. A lot of people have worked really hard for a long time to make today possible and I am grateful for their efforts.”

Philip Bowcock, CEO of William Hill in the UK, said: “We took the first bet in New Jersey today from Governor Murphy just half an hour before the World Cup kicked off. This industry is certainly not boring!  We are full of excitement about the future, and from the scenes in New Jersey so are the sports fans in the US. This is just the beginning – there is a lot of work to do but we are in a strong position and today’s US launch gives us even more confidence about the future.”

Governor Murphy’s next move was to head to Borgata, the first Atlantic City casino to offer sports betting, where he planned to make another bet or two.