The line formed at Borgata Casino long before 11am, the time when sports betting should start on Thursday. There were a few players who were willing to play thousands of dollars and many others who wanted to make much more modest bets just to be part of a historic moment.
Scott Cronick was among the first After official state officials and Julius Erving, the retired basketball player, we managed to place some of the first legal bets on sporting events in New Jersey. He bet the Yankees would win the World Series, the 76ers would claim the N.B.A. Title and the Cowboys would be the Super Bowl champions.
"I made many stupid bets today as a fan," said Mr. Cronick, a radio station from nearby Somers Point. "I make smarter bets as we move on."
The Borgata and Monmouth Park Racetrack at Oceanport were the only places willing to accept players, since sports betting in New Jersey started and both were flooded by people getting the chance to part with their money. At both venues, officials described the momentum at breakneck speed as the beginning of a "new era" in New Jersey and a significant opportunity to revive the backlog of Atlantic City casinos and state racetracks.
The culmination of a lawsuit that lasted nearly a decade and ended on Thursday morning when Governor Philip D. Murphy held up notes no bigger than baseball cards – tiny black letters showing his stakes.
$ 20, Germany to win the World Cup, 7-2 odds. $ 20, Devils to win the Stanley Cup, 40-1 odds.
"There is an old saying that you bet with your head, not with your heart," said Murphy, a Democrat, in Monmouth Park, near the Jersey Shore. "For the past seven years, our minds and hearts have been in line as we struggled to lift an illegal and unfair federal law."
A landmark Supreme Court milestone last month cleared the way federal law had banned sports betting in most parts of the country. Mr. Murphy signed a bill on Monday that officially legalized the legalization of legalization.
The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa was the only casino that was able to place bets immediately and had converted its racecourse's betting windows into a temporary sports gambling website until a permanent venue is completed.
It was a race to finish in time. At Monmouth Park, Ryan Orner, the manager of the institution's sports book, barked his last-minute bets just before the governor arrived.
"Remember, first cash, then ticket," he said. "And smile."
Charles Rutkowski, 32, was waiting in line in Monmouth, holding his 10-month-old son, Connor, as he analyzed the giant black boards over the betting window, which listed opportunities for baseball and football among others
"We will put on the Yankees, some future bets to mark the importance of the day, "he said, surprised by the wait. "I did not think the lines would be that long, I thought people had work."
Other players took greater risks.
"This is the year: $ 100 to win the Browns," said Ryan Daly, 28, who was born and raised in New Jersey, ending a fan of Cleveland Brown, who has not won one in the last season Could win the game. He noted he would make a lot of money given the Brown's long-term chances should it come to a miracle and the team win the Super Bowl
"Pay $ 7500," he said, flashing his ticket.
In the Borgata, Kele Munoz posed for a selfie while waiting in line. She was also ready to play a fierce game: $ 2,000 for her native Brazil to win the World Cup. She had just come back from Las Vegas, but she had to leave before she could place a bet. "It was like fate," said Ms. Munoz, who had missed work on Thursday to go to the casino from West New York, NJ
When betting began, the Borgata's racing and sports book was crammed with local politicians , Camera crews and in the front row, Mr Erving, from his fans as Dr. J, who made the first bet on the Borgata. The crowd roared as he put $ 5 "on the Eagles to retake."
Stephen M. Sweeney, a Democrat and State Senate President, showed the receipt for his $ 200 bet on the Green Bay Packers to win the Super Bowl. "That was a seven-year struggle," he said of the lengthy process of legalizing sports betting.
He warned that sports betting would bring little tax benefit, but he would strengthen Atlantic City. "This is a game changer," he said.
Some noted that they had gambled away on sporting events long before Thursday, but they were relieved that the trial was now legal. "Finally," Mr. Cronick said, "I do not have to go to my bookstore."
Johannes Jenkins has been living in Atlantic City for about 30 years. "I'm glad we got it," he said as he waited to place his bet on the Phillies. "It works in Vegas," he added, "it will probably work here as well."
The crowds went to Monmouth Park until the afternoon. Tommy Mahon was on his way to the beach in Long Branch from his house in Hazlet. He carried his beach chair with him when he queued to bet if he had to rest in the long rows. "In the summer you can not beat the Jersey Shore," he said as he pocketed his $ 50 bet on Russia to win the first game of the World Cup. (They did strike Saudi Arabia 5-0).
C.J. Pulcine, also from Hazlet, said he did his research on Wednesday evening to know which team he could bet on.
"I've been looking forward to it since you first mentioned it in 2012," Mr. Pulcine said. He was optimistic about his betting success. "I always say that at least for me, sport is the place where I can make money," he said, "horses are more of a hobby and something that is fun at the weekend, but I know a lot more about sports than about horses.
The seemingly endless snake even surprised Joe Asher, the chief executive officer of William Hill, a major sports bookmaker who had teamed up with Monmouth.
"That's the slow time in the sports calendar," he said. "Basically it's baseball, a bit of golf and Russia against Saudi Arabia in football, I'm serious, can you imagine, like the opening weekend of the NFL season or if you have Giants Eagles?"
Nick Corasaniti Reported by Oceanport and Rick Rojas of Atlantic City.