Betting On New Jersey: New Documentary Looks At The Past And Future Of Legalized Sports Betting In the Garden State

Written By Marco Cerino on August 13, 2020 - Last Updated on April 29, 2021
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PlayNJ released a mini-documentary this week on YouTube that chronicled the rollout of sports betting in New Jersey. It details the impact that legalized sports wagering has had on the casinos in Atlantic City, online providers, workers, and professional patrons.

The doc also shows how COVID-19 has affected the sports betting industry in the state, explaining that “this documentary represents what New Jersey’s sports betting industry accomplished, and what New Jersey will accomplish again in the future.”

Check out and subscribe to all Play USA videos here.

For most of the 2010s and even before, leaders like former State Sen. Ray Lesniak (D) championed the cause to offer regulated sports betting that would benefit gaming companies, consumers, and the state. Lesniak led a multi-year battle through courts and capitols to get sports betting green-lighted in the state and is featured in the doc.

“The biggest catalyst to legalize sports betting was that everyone was doing it anyway,” Lesniak says in mini-film. “They were feeding organized crime rings, they were betting on off-shore sites and that money was going out of the state. We were losing money, we were losing jobs, and it just didn’t seem right to me.”

You can check out the doc by clicking here or watching below:

Worth a watch

What makes this documentary worth watching are the stories. Those interviewed are passionate supporters of not just betting, but of the area. We see Jacinta from FanDuel walking the floor of their retail location at the Meadowlands. We see the bustle of PointsBet’s office in Jersey City. We see two players at the DraftKings book at Resorts in the winter.

Yes, much of the action today happens online with apps and websites behind screens. However, most of the selling of this endeavor came from the live activity at tracks and casinos. This doc captures some of that excitement and how it does drive business.

The doc lasts about a half-hour so it’s something that can fit between games or as a nightcap. It’s worth a watch, a share, and is part of a cool series Play sites are providing to sports betting enthusiasts. Below is a similar doc that details the launching of legalized sports betting in Colorado.

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