NCAA championship-level events — including March Madness — could be coming back to New Jersey, despite the organization’s desire to see sports wagering bans across the US.

The NCAA and sports betting

The NCAA Board of Governors rescinded the ban on holding championship events in states with legal sports betting this week.

That ban had always included Nevada and had apparently been imposed on New Jersey as it had fought to legalize sports gambling over the past decade.

But now, with NJ sports betting being legal for nearly a year, the NCAA has changed its policy.

More from a release from the NCAA:

The board also voted to rescind the NCAA Championships Policy Related to Sports Wagering, which prohibited hosting championship competitions in any state that allows single-game sports wagering. The decision follows the board’s temporary action last year to suspend the policy following the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize sports wagering.

The board also reinforced its support for federal legislative sports wagering standards. While the board stressed that an exemption of college sports in any federal or state legislation is desired, it emphasized that any proposed legislation should protect student-athlete well-being and the integrity of games.

Why the change for NCAA and NJ betting?

The pivot was likely a hat tip to the reality that sports wagering is already taking place in eight states, with that number likely set to double or more in the next year.

Banning events in all of those states would have been logistically difficult.

Betting on college events involving New Jersey teams is illegal under state statute.

So what could be coming to New Jersey?

The events covered by the Board of Governors include any national championships and related regional competitions. That includes the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

The Prudential Center in Newark, for example, could once again be in the mix for NCAA tourney games.

It might be sometime before that can happen, however, since the schedule for championship events is planned well in advance.

For instance, locations for first and second rounds as well as regional games in the NCAA tournament are set up through 2022. And the Final Four sites are set through 2026.

Beyond that, any number of championship events in college sports, from wrestling to ice hockey and beyond, are up for grabs for New Jersey.

Dustin Gouker

About

Aside from his role as editor at LegalSportsReport.com, Dustin Gouker writes extensively about the legal online gaming and US online poker industries, having played poker recreationally for his entire adult life. He has also covered sports for The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner, among others.