NJ Voters Reject Expanding College Sports Betting
New Jersey voters like sports betting the way it is right now, but are in favor of adjusting the way nonprofits utilize money from raffles and bingo games.
Most voters said "no" on Nov. 2 to the statewide ballot question that asked whether the state constitution should be amended to expand sports wagering to include collegiate match-ups that take place in New Jersey and any games featuring New Jersey college teams.
"I'm not surprised," said Micah Rasmussen, director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University. "It's almost like the proponents didn't really get out there and push for it or work for it. They didn't really campaign for it very hard."
Rasmussen noted that poll results throughout the year did not bode well for the proposal.
Sports betting has been running legally in New Jersey since June 2018. Sporting events played here or involving higher-education institutions from New Jersey were excluded from the start due to fears of game-fixing.
According to numbers from The Associated Press, 1,055,709 voters said no to the question, with 808,321 voting yes. The numbers represent 6,188 of 6,348 precincts.
About two-thirds of Garden State voters said "yes" to the ballot question that asked whether organizations should be allowed to use raffle money to support their operating expenses, like staffing and keeping the lights on. Only veterans and senior citizens groups can use proceeds for that purpose — other groups, such as volunteer fire companies and charitable groups, can only use proceeds from games of chance for educational, charitable, patriotic, religious, or public-spirited uses.
“The constitutional amendment would only provide parity and consistent treatment for the charitable community as is currently provided to veterans and senior groups,” Linda Czipo, president and chief executive officer of the Center for Non-Profits, told New Jersey 101.5 reporter Michael Symons.
“It would in no way infringe upon or diminish the rights of other qualified organizations to use their proceeds to benefit their organizations,” she said. “This is a critically important flexibility for the charitable community.”
Numbers from The Associated Press, with 97 percent of precincts reporting, shows 1,178,371 people voted yes to amend nonprofit gaming use, with 657,663 who voted no.