New Jersey becomes first US state to take legal Oscars bets

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Are you so sure that Lady Gaga will win an Oscar for her performance in a “Star is Born” that you’d be willing to bet on it?

Now, you can.

New Jersey sportsbooks have become the first in the U.S. to accept wagers on the Oscars after earning state regulatory approval.

The casinos see it as an opportunity to widen their pool of customers.

Mattias Stetz is chief operating officer of Rush Street Interactive, which operates in New Jersey. He says the company believes fans of the Oscars may be a new audience of gamblers more used to playing things like bingo or roulette.

Sportsbooks in Nevada have never taken wagers on the event.

“Roma” is the favorite to win in the best picture category at the William Hill and SugarHouse books.

The ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 24.


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