(Bloomberg) -- New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy isn’t betting that the introduction of sports wagering at casinos will provide much of a boost to the government’s finances. But he is placing some of his own money on the line.
Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. senior partner and U.S. ambassador to Germany, Thursday will place the first sports bet in New Jersey at Monmouth Park, a racetrack. State officials anticipate that the introduction of such betting -- thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last month -- will boost tax revenue by $13 million in the first year. While welcome, that doesn’t do much to cover Murphy’s $37.4 billion spending plan, which relies on new or higher taxes on millionaires.
“It’s meaningful in the sense it’s positive, but it’s not a huge game changer,” Murphy said Thursday in an interview on Bloomberg Radio, when asked about the impact of the new revenue.
Murphy, a Democrat, anticipates the new wagering will help bring more visitors to Atlantic City -- whose economy was battered as gambling proliferated in other states -- and to New Jersey racetracks. That should help casinos, restaurants and bars.
“I think the knock-on impact is going to be very substantial and immediate,” Murphy said.
Since taking office in January, Murphy has approved and proposed spending that would cost the state $1.76 billion by 2020. Some state lawmakers are resisting the governor’s call to raise taxes to help support his priorities.
Murphy, a self-described lifelong soccer fan, owns part of the Sky Blue woman’s team, which is currently in its regular season. But Murphy declined to specify the sport -- or contest -- he’ll be betting on.
“The bet is still a state secret, but it will not be on the Red Sox,” Murphy said.
--With assistance from Molly Smith and Tom Keene.
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