More “Free Play” in sight for NJ Casino and Sportsbook players
The state’s casinos and racetracks may be able to offer sports bettors a little more “free play” after Gov. Phil Murphy approved a measure giving their sports lounges a tax break on credits used to entice gamblers. The bill has been modified a few times over the past year and a half. Before it passed both houses last year, Murphy conditionally vetoed the bill, allowing only brick-and-mortar sports betting lounges at casinos and racetracks to qualify for the tax deduction. Although the new law only applies to brick-and-mortar sports books, it allows online operators linked to New Jersey racetracks to receive the same tax relief as those linked to casinos.
Bill Pascrell, III, a lobbyist hired by Points Bet to get the bill passed, said the new law helps racetracks and casinos cope with the nearly 2-year-old epidemic in which 92 percent of all bets were placed online rather than in person. Since many New Jersey casinos and racetracks utilize tax-deductible promotional gaming credits to attract new sports betting participants, sponsors believe it is only fair to give online gambling operators the same opportunity. Here is an example of how credits work. If you go online to an online casino/sportsbook and sign up for an account and deposit $500, then the casino/sportsbook credits you $500 for gaming. Gambling operators say the new law could help them give out more promotional credits since the revenue they earn from credits used at their sports books won’t be taxed. The new law will benefit around 30 online casinos and racetracks affiliated with the state’s casinos and racetracks.