The future of sports betting in New Jersey is now in Gov. Phil Murphy's hands.
The New Jersey Assembly and Senate on Thursday unanimously passed bills that will legalize sports betting at the state's casinos and racetracks, pending approval by Murphy. The Assembly voted 73-0 in favor of the legislation, and the Senate followed with a 37-0 vote.
Murphy has 45 days to act on the bill.
"Governor Murphy looks forward to closely reviewing the sports betting legislation that was recently passed by the Legislature," Dan Bryan, press secretary for Murphy, said a statement. "The Governor has long been supportive of New Jersey's right to allow sports betting and he wants to ensure that the proposed regulatory scheme is fair and reasonable."
New Jersey racetrack Monmouth Park says it's ready to begin immediately if the governor signs the legislation. The Borgata in Atlantic City also has said it will begin taking wagers as soon as the regulations are put in place.
"We're excited that this happened," said Dennis Drazen, an official for Monmouth Park. "The long fight for all the years has finally reached a conclusion. The bill is on the way to the governor. We hope he signs it. This is a great victory for New Jersey, horse racing and the casinos."
New Jersey fought the NCAA, NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball in a six-year legal battle that began in 2012 and was accepted by the United States Supreme Court last June.
On May 14, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of New Jersey and declared that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, the federal ban on state-sponsored sports betting, was unconstitutional, opening a path for states to legalize sports wagering.
On Tuesday, Delaware became the first state outside of Nevada to offer full-scale legal sports betting. More than $322,000 was bet on sports in Delaware on Tuesday. New Jersey is expected to handle much more.
Research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming projects nearly $7.75 billion will be wagered annually in New Jersey when the market matures and includes online and mobile wagering.