JERSEY CITY, N.J. | The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board has announced the approval of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with New Jersey City University (NJCU) in Jersey City that will help advance New Jersey’s leadership in the online wagering technology, and financial technology (fintech) sectors. The MOU with NJCU will support the creation of a Sports Wagering and Financial Technology Workforce Development and Innovation Center.
This MOU is part of a broader NJEDA strategic initiative to support Governor Phil Murphy’s vision for a stronger and fairer New Jersey economy by establishing innovation centers throughout the state that bring together academic, industry, and government stakeholders to grow key industry sectors.
“The agreement with NJCU will build on New Jersey’s existing value proposition for the online wagering and fintech sector to position the state as an industry hub,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “New Jersey offers a highly educated and talented technical workforce with proximity and connectivity to New York City and Philadelphia. We also have world-class technical infrastructure such as broadband and fiber-optic connectivity, and the regulatory leadership of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement that recognizes the importance of innovation, collaboration, and competition for a healthy and sustainably-growing industry.”
The emergence of legalized and regulated sports wagering in New Jersey represents a unique opportunity to position the state as the epicenter of this growing, rapidly-innovating industry. In the three years since legalizing sports betting, New Jersey has become one of the largest sports wagering markets in the United States, routinely surpassing Nevada in monthly handle, with monthly revenues close to $1 billion per month toward the end of 2020.
Moreover, New Jersey leads the country in customer adoption of mobile and online wagering. And with over 90 percent of wagers in the state placed online or via mobile platforms, New Jersey has positioned itself as the optimal jurisdiction for scaling tech-centric product innovations within this industry.
“We are so excited and honored to partner with NJEDA to establish this new center for sports wagering and financial technology,” said NJCU President Sue Henderson. “NJCU has long been an academic innovator for launching new programs in emerging fields. This is a wonderful opportunity to build upon our expertise in sports management, financial technology, and data analytics to put our students and our state at the forefront of this exciting new field.”
Under the terms of the MOU approved on May 14, the NJEDA will provide $200,000 in funding and staff resources to support technological and product innovation as well as workforce development in sports wagering and fintech at the Sports Wagering and Financial Technology Workforce Development and Innovation Center at NJCU. This support will bolster the Center’s goals of providing an incubator for the sports wagering and fintech industries and acting as a connector between industry, academia, and relevant State agencies to grow and support innovation in sports wagering technology and fintech.
Dr. Bernard McSherry, the Founding Dean of the NJCU School of Business added: “In partnership with the NJEDA and private industry, the Innovation Center will utilize the NJCU School of Business’ core competencies in FinTech and Data Science to develop practical, real-life applications that will support job growth and create entrepreneurial opportunities for the residents of New Jersey. The NJCU School of Business is pleased to be a leader in this space as we continue to be innovative with our academic offerings.”
With the NJEDA’s backing, NJCU believes the Center will cement New Jersey’s position as a leader in the sports wagering and fintech industries, positioning the Garden State as not just a top consumer market for these innovative products but also a productive engine of leading industry innovations and workforce development programs.
Supporting the Sports Wagering and Financial Technology Workforce Development and Innovation Center is part of a wider NJEDA strategic effort to grow New Jersey’s innovation, sports wagering, and fintech ecosystems. In addition to the MOU with New Jersey City University, the NJEDA concurrently approved a separate agreement with Stockton University to support the establishment of an esports Innovation Center at the university’s Atlantic City Campus, which is expected to contribute to establishing Atlantic City as a hub for the rapidly growing esports industry.