With sports betting now legal in New Jersey, golf could become a favorite sport
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With sports betting now legal in New Jersey, golf could become a favorite sport



When the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, better known as PASPA, on May 14, 2018, the American landscape for legal sports gambling changed forever.

Suddenly, states which had not previously authorized sports betting games which had been grandfathered in pre-PASPA had an opportunity to allow wagering inside their boundaries. Further, the states could take advantage of a flood of technology to make sports betting easier and more accessible.

New Jersey had already moved to legalize sports betting, already passing state laws which would allow casinos and horse-racing facilities to begin taking sports bets. It was New Jersey governor Phil Murphy who took the legal challenge all the way to the Supreme Court. When the 6-3 ruling declared the 1992 PASPA law unconstitutional, New Jersey and its betting partners were ready to pounce. Monmouth Park was ready to take bets within weeks of the ruling, and sports betting has only expanded from there.

Now, sports betting is not only legal in New Jersey but it's a massive business already. Gamblers can place bets at a variety of facilities in person, and they can also use authorized online sportsbooks provided they're physically in New Jersey when they place the bet.

Bettors should embrace golf

For so many years, college basketball fans would flock to Las Vegas and plunk down good money to have seating in a Sin City sportsbook to watch the early rounds of the annual men's tournament. Many of those bettors will look to go to Atlantic City for March Madness. But many of them might want to stick around a few weeks for golf's first major of the year.

With golf betting available now in New Jersey, golf fans can do the next best thing after attending a golf tournament in person and lay down a few dollars on their favorite players to win tournaments. Golf is arguably the sport with the most betting action available. There's no shortage of things to bet: tournament winners, individual player matchups, as well a mind-boggling amount of in-game wagers.

Live wagering during tournaments could include the outcome of certain holes or even specific shots. Will a putt go in? Will a drive hit the fairway? Will an approach shot find the green? As more real-time golf data becomes available, sportsbooks will offer more specific in-game wagers, too, letting punters figure out for themselves if the likelihood of an event is worth betting.

New Jersey sportsbooks should also see a lot of golf business in 2019, as the PGA Championship moves to May and will be played in New York at Bethpage State Park on Long Island. Golf fans making the trek to the season's second major may make a pit stop in Jersey to get a ticket with their favorite players.

About the author

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com