Gov. Murphy makes first legal sports bet in state history

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OCEANPORT -

Gov. Phil Murphy placed the first legal sports wager Thursday, making New Jersey history.

The governor placed two $20 bets at Monmouth Park Racetrack’s new sports wagering lounge, one on Germany to win the 2018 World Cup and another on the New Jersey Devils to win the 2019 Stanley Cup.

New Jersey sued the federal government, and the Supreme Court agreed with the state last month, making it possible for all 50 states to offer legal sports betting.

MORE: Borgata Casino starts taking Atlantic City’s first legal sports bets

VIDEO: Sports betting gets underway in Atlantic City

"For the past seven years, our heads and hearts were in alignment as we fought to overturn an unlawful and unfair federal law," Gov. Murphy says. "We knew in our heads we were right, and we knew in our hearts that we would win and we have."

Gov. Murphy signed the bill into law earlier this week after it was unanimously passed in the state Legislature.

Hundreds of people were lined up behind the governor to place their first legal bets.

Several people made bets much greater than the governor’s $20, including one man who bet $5,000 on Thursday’s Chicago White Sox game and Bayonne resident Joe Wisniewski, who bet $9,000 on Thursday’s San Francisco Giants game.

RELATED: Legal sports betting fuels fears of gambling addiction

Also in attendance were former Gov. Chris Christie and former state Sen. Ray Lesniak, who fought for nearly a decade to get sports gambling in the Garden State.

The Borgata Hotel in Atlantic City also began taking legal sports wagers Thursday.

Most of the other Atlantic City casinos and racetracks in New Jersey are expected to follow, but have not yet announced their sports betting plans.

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