Not Just Football: NJ Wagering Options Include Two Dozen Sports

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While talk of Super Bowl wagering permeates even the most mainstream of newscasts these days, New Jersey-based sports fans with no more than a casual interest in risk-taking likely would be surprised at how many sports are on their menu.

The XFL — yes, yet another football league — earlier this month received approval from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to be a gambling option for the state’s racetracks and Atlantic City casinos as well as for more than a dozen sports betting apps.

New Jersey is the only legal mobile sports betting state that has a team in the XFL, with the New York Guardians following longstanding geographically-challenged tradition of aligning with the state across the Hudson River from the Meadowlands. New Yorkers wishing to legally wager on these games need only trek almost 100 miles north to Resorts World Casino in the Catskills (unless they prefer to take a brief train, or bike ride, or walk across the George Washington Bridge or Lincoln or Holland Tunnels or PATH trains — as most of them clearly do).

The Guardians, one of eight XFL franchises, debut at MetLife Stadium on Feb. 9, the Sunday following the Super Bowl. They will send quarterback Matt McGloin, the ex-Oakland Raider, and his new teammates against the Tampa Bay Vipers. There will be two games each Saturday and Sunday of the 10-week schedule, except for weeks 9 and 10, which will feature a Thursday night game and a Saturday game.

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The ill-fated Alliance of American Football last spring also received DGE approval for wagers, and several betting sites took action on those games before the league ran out of money late in the season.

With the much deeper pockets of XFL ownership, led by wrestling mogul Vince McMahon, this league is considered to be much more viable. Each game will be shown on ABC, ESPN, Fox, or Fox Sports 1, so gamblers will be able to watch how their wagers are doing.

The XFL joins the CFL and Australian Rules Football as football betting options beyond just the NFL and NCAA.

Mainstream US sports bets offered at many levels

As for other sports, no one would be surprised that New Jersey books can and do take action on baseball, basketball, hockey, and soccer, too.

What’s not as well known is that the books have the option of offering wagers not just on MLB but also NCAA baseball and softball (if no New Jersey team is involved); Japanese baseball; the World Baseball Classic; and minor league games of the Yankees’ AAA Trenton Thunder squad and the Class A level Lakewood Blue Claws of the Phillies’ farm system.

Basketball possibilities for books beyond the NBA and NCAA games include WNBA; European League games; and all high-level international hoops events.

International hockey tournaments also are approved, as well as betting on games in Sweden, Switzerland, and Finland and the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in Russia and numerous Eastern European countries.

Soccer betting options in New Jersey span the globe. In the U.S., it’s MLS, USL, NASL, and for women, the NWSL. Two levels of soccer in England are okayed, as well as betting on the top tiers of the game in South America, Asia, and even Oceania.

What else is on the betting table in NJ?

Golf fans naturally can bet on the PGA and LPGA Tours as well as any majors, the European Tour, the senior Champions Tour, and the “Triple-A” Korn Ferry Tour. In November 2018, the DGE allowed wagering on a one-off match play event featuring legends Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

Tennis options are more basic, with the ATP men’s and WTA women’s tours as well as ITF and Grand Slam events.

Perhaps a surprisingly worldwide option is rugby, with approvals for England, Australia/New Zealand, UK/France, and any events sanctioned by Rugby Sevens.

For boxing, alphabetic approvals have gone to WBA, WBC, WBO, and IBF. Mixed Martial Arts gets UFC and PFL (Professional Fighters League) as well as Bellator.

NASCAR and each of its major series such as Monster Energy Series are approved, as is Indy Racing League and Formula One.

The Olympics and Americas Cup sailing naturally have approval, as does track-and-field affiliated with the IAAF. Lacrosse so far is limited to NCAA competition.

Did you know you can bet on…..?

If most of those opportunities seem routine, you still are liable to be surprised that you can bet on:

  • The Pro Bowling Tour
  • Cricket’s World Cup
  • The Grand Tour and World Tour of Cycling
  • Darts – both the PDC Championship and the British Darts Organization
  • Rowing’s University Boat Race

If you think any sport in the world is missing, you can ask a sportsbook operator to notify the DGE of a request at least 72 hours before the new event will take place, with the sportsbook informing the regulators of the name of the sport’s governing body.

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John Brennan

John Brennan has covered NJ and NY sports business and gaming since 2002 and was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist in 2008, while reporting for The Bergen County Record.

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