Lottery winners in the US state of New Jersey will be able to enjoy anonymity following their win, thanks to a new law that was signed onto the statute book on Tuesday.
State Governor Phil Murphy signed off on the law which will effectively make it possible for winners to choose anonymity if they land a big prize. The law itself orders the New Jersey state Lottery Commission to develop regulations that will enable lottery winners to keep their identities secret.
The law comes into effect immediately, although it is not yet clear how long it will take the Commission to develop the regulations to put it into practice.
But the development is significant in one of the biggest betting markets in the US. In fact, New Jersey is just the latest state to join a list of territories that give lottery winners the option of retaining their anonymity. Prior to 2019, there were at least eight states that operated anonymity practices, and last year, Arizona and Virginia were added to the list.
According to the sponsors of the New Jersey law, it will address what has been described as the ‘lottery curse’ which affects those who win a big lottery prize. Speaking about the bill, Steve Sweeney, the Senate President said that many winners receive threats and harassment:
“The winners should have the option of remaining anonymous if they want to stay out of the limelight and away from unwanted attention.”
The bill went through the New Jersey legislature with unanimous consent, although there has been some opposition within the state from those who say that anonymity can remove transparency.
Along with Arizona and Virginia, Georgia, Delaware, Maryland, Kansas, North Dakota, South Carolina, Ohio and Texas allow lottery winners to remain anonymous, while many other states have provisions or loopholes that allow for full or partial anonymity.