OCEANPORT: With the news that Gov. Chris Christie has signed a revised sports wagering bill into law on Oct. 17, Monmouth Park has announced that it will begin sports betting operations on Oct. 26.
"We thank Governor Christie for his leadership on this issue," Dennis Drazin, advisor to Darby Development LLC, operators of Monmouth Park said in a release. "The New Jersey horse racing industry and the associated agriculture support services is a $1 billion industry and is responsible for 13,000 jobs in the Garden State, as well as the open spaces and green acres that are the direct result of horse racing. The Governor's signature on S2460 earlier today is a wire-to-wire winner for horse racing, the gaming industry and the people of New Jersey."
Christie said he signed the bill because he is a "strong proponent of legalized sports wagering" in the state.
"But given earlier decisions by federal courts, it was critical that we follow a correct and appropriate path to curtail new court challenges and expensive litigation," Christie said in a release. "I believe we have found that path in this bipartisan legislative effort."
The new bill specifies that certain collegiate sports contests and athletic events shall not be the subject of wagering, as the New Jersey Constitution mandates, and it limits the repeal to wagers placed by persons at least 21 years of age. The bill also repeals the prior Sports Wagering Act in its entirety.
In 2012 New Jersey passed the Sports Wagering Act to license and regulate the extensive sports wagering that already was going on within the State, but was later sued based on statute that references the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992. The PAPSA has banned sports wagering in New Jersey and all states that failed to opt out of that federal legislation. Currently, only four states are permitted to take sports wagers - Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon. The legislation signed by Christie repeals PAPSA.
Drazin thanked the legislature for signing the sports wagering bill into law.
"I want to express our thanks and gratitude to the entire New Jersey Legislature," said Drazin. "Particularly to Senator Lesniak, who has championed this cause from the onset and Assemblyman Caputo, who led the legislation through the Assembly. Also, the tireless work of Senators Kyrillos, Beck and Whelan as well as Assemblymen Dancer, Burzichelli, Mazzeo and Mukherji have brought us to where we are today. We can't wait to welcome new fans to the racetrack as we embark on this exciting new era in the long and storied history of Monmouth Park."
Drazin has said the future of development at Monmouth Park depends on bringing sports betting and/or casinos to the race track.
The William Hill Sports Bar was built at Monmouth Park prior to the start of the 2014 racing season and in 2013, the race track agreed to make William Hill its exclusive sports betting provider.
The new sports bar is located on the first floor of the grandstand and features over 100 flat screen HD TVs and a 40-foot bar.