All bets are on!
Gamblers flocked to Monmouth Park racetrack in New Jersey Thursday morning to finally bet on sports legally.
Gov. Phil Murphy – who signed the years-in-the-making legalization bill into law Monday – was the first to place a bet at the Oceanport track.
He put $20 on Germany to win the 2018 World Cup — which kicks off Thursday — and another $20 on the New Jersey Devils to bring home the Stanley Cup.
“There’s an old adage that you bet with your head and not with your heart. So for the past seven years, our heads and hearts were in alignment as we fought to overturn an unlawful and unfair federal law,” Murphy told the crowd. “We knew in our heads we were right and we knew in our hearts that we would win. And we have.”
The dozens of TV screens at Monmouth Park flickered as odds for events — including the MLB World Series, various international soccer matches and the World Cup — updated in real time.
The track – which partnered with British bookmaker William Hill to launch its betting parlor — was also stocked with betting sheets and a lengthy set of “House Rules” posted in the facility.
Bettors must be at least 21 years of age.
Meanwhile, the Borgata in Atlantic City is expected to become the first casino to open a sports betting parlor, when betting begins at 11 a.m. Murphy said he’ll also place a bet there.
A landmark Supreme Court decision last month paved the way for sport betting to begin in the Garden State, which technically legalized it through a 2011 referendum and 2014 law.
The decision overturned a 1992 federal law that blocked wagering in most states, saying the ban was unconstitutional.
New Jersey is the second state to have sports betting, outside of Nevada. Sports betting will also be offered at the state’s other racetracks, the Meadowlands in East Rutherford and Freehold Raceway, sometime this year.
Officials estimated the state will rake in $13 million from sports wagering in its first full year. On-site bets will be taxed 8.5 percent, online bets run by casinos at 13 percent and online bets run by racetracks at 14.25 percent.