New Jersey’s State Senate has passed a law this week that would enable Atlantic City’s Golden Nugget Casino to take bets on the NBA, but not on the Houston Rockets team which was acquired by the casino’s owner, Tilman Fertitta, in 2017.
Under current rules, casinos that are owned by individuals/companies with 10% or more holding in a team may not take wagers on games from that team’s league.
The Bill now progresses to Governor Phil Murphy for final approval. Should it pass muster, the loosening of restrictions will likely be warmly welcomed by Golden Nugget which has lost out significantly due to its ban on NBA wagers.
The casino took has made just $539,503 from sports betting ($319,437 online and $220,066 for retail) – the second-lowest total of any New Jersey sportsbook.
That figure looks worse still considering that basketball, by far the most profitable sports wagering option in New Jersey, has so far attracted circa $855m in handle.
The reason for the initial ban was purely and simply down to conflict of interest. But with Bill A5463 passing smoothly through the Assembly 76-0 in June and the Senate 26-1 on Monday, it’s seemingly clear that there has been an error of judgment.