The new William Hill Race and Sports Bar at Monmouth Park.
OCEANPORT: With the doors of the new William Hill Race and Sports Bar set to open this Saturday, Monmouth Park officials are hoping that licensed sports betting will follow.
New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and Darby Development LLC Advisor Dennis Drazin spoke at a press conference at Monmouth Park today and said he has hopes that sports betting will be coming to the track soon.
“We’re awaiting the Supreme Court to make a decision on whether they will hear the case,” Drazin said. “Assuming that they decided to accept the case, and we should know by the end of June, I (think that) we will be successful in winning. If for some reason the Supreme Court decides not to accept the case, the third circuit court of appeals has laid out a framework for other options to enable us to take other measures.”
New Jersey has challenged federal sports betting prohibition in the past but has not been successful in the lower courts. Sports betting is currently only legal in Nevada.
Last year, Monmouth Park agreed to make William Hill its exclusive sports betting provider for the track if and when sports betting becomes legal in New Jersey.
In the meantime, the new sports bar will allow fans to make free sports plays for prizes at contest kiosks. The bar is located on the first floor of the grandstand and features over 100 flat screen HD TVs and a 40-foot bar.
Drazin also spoke about the possibility of bringing gambling or a casino to Monmouth Park.
Over the winter, Monmouth Park entered into an agreement with Morris Bailey Resorts which will be doing some of the “long-term” real estate development on the site, Drazin said.
“Right now we’re waiting and praying that the governor and legislature sees fit to expand gaming outside of Atlantic City,” Drazin said. “That conversation will probably not take place until some time early in 2016. I’m confident in the final analysis that gaming will expand outside of Atlantic City and we need to be a part of that.”
He said that even if a casino or slots are not built at the track, financial revenue sharing from other venues would allow Monmouth Park’s purses to grow.
Future development at Monmouth Park hinges upon the expansion of gaming beyond Atlantic City, Drazin said.
“The conversations you’ve heard in the past about a water theme park, hotel and convention center has to wait until we see about the expansion of gaming and casinos and slots here,” Drazin said. “Morris (Bailey) is part of that future dream at Monmouth Park with us and I think we need to wait and see what develops but I’m confident that the legislature has always been kind to racing and I think they will do what is necessary.”