The Senate Budget Committee approved an amended bill that would call for a public referendum in the 2021 general election next fall.
New Jersey law currently prohibits wagering on in-state college sports events. Bettors are also not allowed to wager on programs like Rutgers or Seton Hall, who both compete at the highest level of the NCAA.
The Garden State has seen sports betting handle soar to record heights recently. In September the state took in $748m in sports wagers, a national record.
Legislators are also looking ahead to a NCAA Tournament regional competition scheduled to be held at Newark’s Prudential Center. The NCAA Tournament annually brings in some of the highest wagering turnout of any US sports events.
Sen. Paul Sarlo, a supporter of the bill, told the Associated Press, “Some of the top teams will be here. There will be a lot of activity and betting.”
New Jersey sportsbooks are also missing out on Rutgers football wagering. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights compete in the Big Ten Conference and regularly play some of the biggest programs in the sports including Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State.