June 7, 2018 / 4:12 PM / 6 months ago

Sports betting bill expected to pass New Jersey legislature

June 7 (Reuters) - New Jersey’s legislature is expected to pass a bill on Thursday to regulate and tax sports betting at casinos and racetracks, which would make it one of the first states to legalize the activity following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last month.

Governor Phil Murphy still would have to sign the legislation before operators could start taking sports wagers.

A state legislative committee advanced the bill on Tuesday without any of the fraud-fighting measures requested by professional sports leagues.

New Jersey and other states are racing for a piece of the estimated $150 billion spent on illegal annual wagers in the United States, after the court in May overturned a 1992 law that had banned sports wagering except in a few places, including Las Vegas.

Delaware, which already had limited sports wagers, rolled out full-scale betting on Tuesday.

In New Jersey, the U.S. unit of UK-based William Hill PLC has for years been preparing a sports books at Monmouth Park Racetrack.

In New Jersey’s fiscally stressed gambling hub Atlantic City, William Hill also plans to operate a 7,500 square foot, $6 million sports book gaming area at the former Revel Casino, which is now called the Ocean Resort Casino and is set to open later in June. (Reporting by Hilary Russ Editing by Bill Trott)

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