Sportsbetting Business Coming Soon to Monmouth Park Racetrack in New Jersey

After the New Jersey state government announced last week that sportsbetting is no longer deemed as an illegal business in the Garden State, Monmouth Park Racetrack released a statement that it hopes to start accepting sports bets by Sunday.   

Monmouth Park’s legal counsel Dennis Drazin said that there is a high demand for the industry, as many of NJ’s sports betting aficionados are asking if the racetrack is already accepting bets. Drazin further commented that if ever the sports wagering business pushes through on Sunday, the operation will likely be basic.

Drazin, who is actually the legal adviser to the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association & Monmouth Park Racetrack owner Darby Development LLC, disclosed that since last year, the racetrack has been preparing for a sports book enterprise. Part of the preparation was the negotiation of a long-term contract with the U.S. Division of UK leading bookmaker William Hill.

He added that if the sports book offering is still not ready by Sunday, the Oceanport track intends to make it operational within thirty days. The proactive move of signing a sports betting contract with William Hill earlier this year, will enable Monmouth Park Racetrack to position itself at the forefront of New Jersey’s new betting market.

The CEO of William Hill US, Joe Asher made a commitment at the time of contract signing that on the day that sports betting becomes legal in New Jersey, “William Hill will be there.”       
However, CEO Asher said that his company is in the process of reviewing the directives of the U.S. Attorney General and the motions filed with the appellate courts.

After all, the circumstances surrounding the advent of the sports book business is not as surefooted as it could have been if the Supreme Court decided to hear and rule in favor of New Jersey. As it is, the Supreme Court rejected the state’s appeal for a review of the decisions previously handed down by the lower courts.   

NJ Governor Chris Christie announced at a press conference held last Tuesday that the offering of sportsbetting within the Garden State is no longer deemed as illegal. Although he added that, his government will not take part in any initiative aimed at regulating or imposing levies on sports book operations. 

The state governor also made it clear that he is not encouraging or discouraging NJ casino and racetrack operators from including sports betting products in their business offerings.  

The recent announcement was made a month after Governor Christie vetoed Senate Bill 2250, which the State Senate passed last June, 2014 in order to repeal all state laws that prohibit sports betting.  

The bill’s primary sponsor Democratic Senator Raymond Lesniak introduced SB 2250, as a way of circumventing the restrictions imposed by the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which confines sports betting to only four U.S. states. The U.S. Dept. of Justice provided the window with which sports book operations could be deemed as lawful, as it had successfully used a legal argument that asserts, “Nothing stops a state government from not enforcing the provisions of PASPA.”
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