New York state adjourned its legislative season without having passed a sports betting bill in line with its right to do so following the repeal of PASPA laws by the US Supreme court in May.
It’s just too good to be true for Meadowlands Racetrack, New Jersey, just 6 miles down the road who have announced that they will be introducing sports betting as early as 15 July. This new introductory date is far earlier than previously announced.
Jeff Gural, manager and owner of the New Jersey track has described the development as a “tremendous gift” as 15 million people within a 20-mile radius of the track will have no alternative in the foreseeable future for participating in land-based legal sports betting other than going to Meadowlands. New Jersey gambling regulatory bodies have confirmed that the new timetable can be met on their side with the necessary provisions.
The unforeseen benefit to the state of New Jersey is also not to sneered at – they stand to profit 9.75% to 13% in taxes per transaction depending on whether the bets are placed at a land-based casino or online. Strategically speaking, even if the gap is of short duration, this gives New Jersey sports betting concerns a good head-start over their New York counterparts in the longer term.
Gural also owns Tioga Downs in upstate New York and has been counting on legal sports betting to revive his business there.
Hard Rock International and Gural had proposed a casino at Meadowlands some time ago due to difficult trading conditions, but this proposal was shut down by voters. It’s unlikely that this could be revisited in under 5 years, as there is no political support for the move either.
Gural stated that Meadowlands sports betting will definitely help the racetrack, but it won’t save the horse racing industry in New Jersey following a $30 million subsidy being withdrawn from the state under former Governor Chris Christy in 2011. Competing against neighboring states has been challenging since then. Gural went on to say that without some sort of subsidy in the future, the track may yet to be forced to only offer sports betting, New Jersey online sports betting and simulcasting.
Meadowlands has partnered with one of the world’s biggest publicly traded sports betting companies - Betfair US - to offer sports betting and will be following in the foot-steps of Monmouth Park, Borgata Casino, Ocean Resort, and HardRock to introduce New Jersey sports betting. It will only be the second racetrack to do so in New Jersey, and with its accessibility to a closed New York market, they may yet make a pretty penny during this period of transition.