In Brief

Betting on college sports, raffle proceeds for nonprofits on the November ballot

By: - October 18, 2021 7:00 am

Gov. Phil Murphy and all 120 legislative seats are on the November ballot as well. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

New Jersey voters will be faced with two statewide referendums on the ballot this year, both aiming to amend the constitution to change gambling rules.

The first ballot question will ask voters whether to allow betting on all in-state college sports. While sports betting was legalized in 2018, this question would amend that law to include New Jersey college teams and other college-level sporting events in the state.

If approved, residents would be able to place bets on Rutgers football, Seton Hall basketball, or any other college game played in the Garden State. Lawmakers who pushed for the ballot question point to potential revenue from the 2025 NCAA Men’s Basketball Eastern Regional Tournament, set to be played Newark.

A measure allowing the question to be placed on the ballot passed with support from nearly all of the state Legislature in June, but a September Stockton University poll shows the question narrowly failing with voters, with 45% of voters opposing the amendment, 40% supporting it, and 14% saying they’re unsure.

The second question concerns nonprofit groups and whether “games of chance” like bingo or raffle proceeds should be used to fund those organizations.

Currently, veterans and senior citizens groups can already claim those proceeds for funding, but other organizations — including religious, education, and charity groups, and first responders — are allowed to use gaming proceeds only for “educational, charitable, patriotic, religious, or public-spirited uses.”

Gov. Phil Murphy and all 120 legislative seats are on the ballot as well.

Election Day is on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Early voting begins Oct. 23 and ends Oct. 31, and all mail-in ballots must be left in a drop box by 8 p.m. Nov. 2.

Residents should request a mail-in ballot by Oct. 26 from their county election boards, or pick it up from their county clerk by 3 p.m. Nov. 1.


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Sophie Nieto-Munoz
Sophie Nieto-Munoz

Sophie Nieto-Muñoz, a New Jersey native and former Trenton statehouse reporter for, shined a spotlight on the state’s crumbling unemployment system and won several awards for investigative reporting from the New Jersey Press Association. She was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists for her report on PetSmart's grooming practices, which was also recognized by the New York Press Club. Sophie speaks Spanish and is proud to connect to the Latinx community through her reporting.