New Jersey sportsbook operators were initially told that they could take bets related to this week’s NFL Souting Combine.
That was before they were then told by state regulators that they had to pull them today, causing some confusion for bettors and sportsbooks alike.
NFL Combine betting goes away quickly
Online and retail sportsbook operators had been offering wagers on the event, which is focused on rookies entering the pro football league, for much of the week.
But they took them down on Friday and refunded all bets, leading to some irate bettors in the state.
NJ regulators on betting
The following was sent to operators by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement.
The Division has determined that wagering on the NFL Combine will not be permitted at this time. Please immediately remove all wagers from your board and void any pending bets. Please confirm to the Division upon completion.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
NJGS has reached out to the DGE for further comment.
PointsBet US CEO Johnny Aitken offered the following statement to NJGS:
“PointsBet was notified that NFL Combine Betting was approved on Wednesday and mid morning Friday we received notification from NJDGE that all NJ operators needed to void all Combine Bets and remove these markets. We immediately voided bets and took down markets as per instructions.”
The DGE surprised some by authorizing wagers on the Oscars. For a short time, sportsbooks had to pull their offers on the awards show, but they were eventually allowed to book the event.
Nevada — the only state with legal sports betting before 2018 — never booked this event. Some offshore sportsbooks do take wagers on the Combine.
So why did the NFL Combine betting go the way of the dodo?
Short of more clarity from the DGE, that’s not altogether clear.
The Combine, going on through the weekend in Indianapolis, is not exactly a sporting event per se (and of course, neither is the Oscars).
There are plenty of measurable outcomes that come from the Combine as players are tested by NFL teams, such as (among others):
- The 40-yard dash
- Vertical jump
- Bench press
Those results are tracked by the NFL here, although it’s not clear if these results are quite as “official” as the data that is collected for actual games.
In any event, the DGE must have had some issue with either potential integrity issues related to the event and betting on it or with the data being able to resolve bets. Just this week, Major League Baseball asked NJ to take Spring Training games off the board.
Of course, the DGE also allowed all sorts of squishy prop bets on the Super Bowl, including what the first touchdown celebration would be, and who the game’s MVP would thank first in their postgame speech.