Spokespersons for the Meadowlands Racetrack and Monmouth Park have offered comments regarding timelines for when the tracks could be accepting wagers on sporting events.
The possibility of wagering on professional sporting events at New Jersey casinos and racetracks was front and centre Monday evening, as Governor Chris Christie issued an Attorney General’s Directive via acting Attorney General John Hoffman which allows sports wagering, without fear of criminal or civil liability, at New Jersey racetracks and casinos.
On Monday, Dennis Drazin, advisor to the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and Darby Development LLC, said, “It will be in the very, very near future that sports wagering will be offered at Monmouth Park.”
On Tuesday morning, Drazin gave another timeline for the introduction of sports wagering at Monmouth, which has partnered with sports-betting firm William Hill. An article by The Daily Journal has cited Drazin as saying that Monmouth hopes to accept wagering on sports this coming Sunday (September 14).
“I got calls from people who wanted to come to the track last night to bet,” Drazin was quoted as saying.
The report has also cited Drazin as saying that if Monmouth cannot take the wagers this Sunday, the track is planning on being able to accept the wagers ‘within 30 days.’
In terms of the Meadowlands Racetrack, spokeswoman Rachel Ryan was cited as saying Monday that the East Rutherford track, which is known as the ‘Mecca of Harness Racing,’ has no immediate plans to offer sports betting.
Officials with the Meadowlands Racetrack have made it clear that they would like to land casino gaming at the raceway if expansion ultimately does come to fruition in the northern section of the state.
Alex Bumazhny, Fitch Ratings’ director of gaming, lodging and leisure, has noted that although the sports wagering measure could prove to be a boon for New Jersey racetracks, it probably will not serve as a lifeline for the state’s struggling Atlantic City casinos.
“The legalization of sports betting in New Jersey will not be a lifeline for Atlantic City casinos that are already struggling, although it’s potentially more impactful for racetracks,” Bumazhny has been quoted as saying in a brief article by The Bergen Record.
“As we’ve seen in Las Vegas, sports book revenues as a percentage of total casino revenue remains small. Despite reassurances from the state, we expect casinos will be skeptical to invest in a sports book as sports betting remains illegal based on federal law. In all, we think it’s unlikely that sports betting will be the jackpot that rejuvenates Atlantic City.”
(With files from ABC News, The Daily Journal and The Bergen Record)