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NJ Senate weighs bill to allow Golden Nugget to take NBA bets


A bill that would lift the prohibition on casinos that share an owner with a professional sports franchise from taking bets on leagues involving the team has been passed by the New Jersey Assembly. 

A5463, which was filed on June 17 by Assemblymembers Raj Mukherij and John Burzichelli, was passed following its third reading, with 76 lawmakers voting in favour, and none voting against. 

It aims to move direct or indirect owners of a sports team from the list of individuals prohibited from placing bets on a sport. Currently any Atlantic City casino owned by an individual that also holds a stake in a sports team cannot take bets. 

This currently only affects Golden Nugget. The venue is unable to offer odds on the National Basketball Association (NBA) as its parent company’s owner Tilman Fertitta also owns the Houston Rockets, one of the league’s franchises. 

This prohibition also applies to any sub-licensees operating under the venue’s sports betting licence. At present only Churchill Downs’ BetAmerica operates under the Golden Nugget licence, after Rush Street Interactive’s SugarHouse brand shifted to operate under Monmouth Park’s licence late in 2018. 

By lifting the prohibition on offering odds on the leagues, New Jersey would bring its legislation in line with that of Nevada, where venues owned by Golden Nugget parent can accept NBA bets, aside from on matches involving the Rockets. 

The bill must first be passed by the New Jersey Senate. It has been assigned to the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee for further scrutiny.