The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with New Jersey City University (NJCU) in Jersey City to help advance New Jersey’s leadership in the online sports 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.
NJEDA’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan, joined by NJCU’s President Sue Henderson, signed the agreement this morning in the NJCU’s School of Business at the university’s Harborside location in Jersey City. The MOU 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 Center. 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.
This partnership with NJCU aligns with Gov. Phil Murphy’s vision for a stronger, fairer New Jersey economy by supporting and growing one of the state’s emerging, innovative industries, with a focus on ensuring diversity and equity. It also leverages one of the state’s most valuable assets – its network of highly-respected universities – and includes the necessary infrastructure to serve as a physical hub for R&D and innovation.
“The Innovation Center at NJCU’s Exchange Place Campus in Jersey City will help to advance Governor Murphy’s commitment to fortifying New Jersey’s position as the national leader in innovation. The MOU signed today will help solidify New Jersey as both a top consumer market in this growing industry, and an engine of leading industry innovations and workforce development programs,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The NJEDA is proud to support this important project, and we look forward to working with President Henderson, the School of Business Dean Bernard McSherry, and the team at NJCU to make it a success.”
Sports wagering in New Jersey has experienced incredible growth in the two-plus years since its legalization, with nearly one billion dollars wagered in-state per month, routinely surpassing Nevada in monthly volume. Technology and innovation have helped facilitate the growth and resilience of New Jersey’s sports wagering industry, with over 90 percent of wagers in the state placed online or via mobile platforms, positioning the Garden State as the optimal jurisdiction for scaling tech-centric product innovations within this industry.
Promoting and strengthening diversity, equity, and inclusion as essential components of industry culture are also focus points for this Center, which aims to promote opportunities for underrepresented groups as sports wagering and fintech expand. Likewise, the Center will work to engage with diversity- and inclusion-oriented organizations to attract women and minorities to diversify the pipeline of future leaders within the industry.
This initiative will also serve to connect private industry, academia, and relevant state agencies to catalyze and connect sports wagering technology and fintech startups and innovation with more mature companies in these sectors. With the NJEDA’s backing, NJCU believes the Center will cement New Jersey’s position as a leader in sports wagering and financial technology, create new academic and workforce development opportunities, and support local economic development.
“The NJCU family is honored to partner with the NJEDA as we work together to establish New Jersey as a hub for sports wagering and financial technology,” said NJCU President Sue Henderson. “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.”
In addition to the MOU signed with New Jersey City University, the NJEDA recently signed 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.
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