There’s a certain paradox about being a bookmaker in the state of New Jersey. It’s one of the few states in the Union where gambling is legal – with the brick-and-mortar operations in Atlantic City and, of course, online gaming since 2013. It has everything, in fact, that Nevada has except for one thing: legalized sports betting.
Of course, sports betting is currently only legal in Nevada, Oregon, Montana and Delaware under the 1992 PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) laws, and of those states, legal bookmaking is only actually practiced in Nevada. Which brings us back to the old New Jersey paradox. In a state like this where most every other kind of gambling is legal, what is a sports bookie to do in order to operate?
Well, there are two things, really. The first thing that a bookie can do is wait for sports betting in New Jersey to be legalized. That might be a long wait though. There are moves in place to try and bypass PAPSA and join the four other states that are exempt from it. In 2012 Governor Chris Christie called PAPSA “unconstitutional” and over the years, certain schools of thought are starting to agree. In February New Jersey went back to federal court to to argue its case against PAPSA and a verdict on that is expected some time during the course of this year, possibly during this month of June. The chances of the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals overturning PAPSA and allowing New Jersey to open up legal sports books anytime soon though, are realistically pretty remote and no bookmaker worth their salt would write good odds for that happening.
So that leaves the second thing.
That, obviously, is to start working with an offshore pay per head company who can look after a New Jersey bookmaker’s affairs online and over the phone while the bookmaker waits for the battle between the state and the federal authorities over PAPSA to be over. An Atlantic City bookmaker can use his time wisely enjoying the casinos and networking for future business and new clients, safe and secure in the knowledge that his pay per head company is looking after his existing clients and making sure that they’re not lacking all of the special customer care and service that they need.
It’s a no-brainer really, when you think about it. You could wait for the politicians to get their acts together or you could get pro-active and employ a safe and secure way to stay in business and keep your customers happy through a pay per head company instead. Most ambitious bookies choose the latter and that is why we’re seeing more and more of them, in Atlantic City and all over the state of New Jersey getting in on the pay per head secret.
Maybe one day sports betting will be legal in New Jersey. Maybe that magical day will come soon. But in the meantime a sportsbook owner has to eat and pay per head allows him to enjoy dessert as well.