Gov. Phil Murphy recently signed legislation that will now allow residents from New Jersey to wager on horse races even when they are outside state lines. The bill, which was sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Dancer now allows punters in the state to place bets using New Jersey’s account betting system, whether online or via an agency, even if they are not within.
This effectively means that New Jersey residents can now bet on their favorite horse events while traveling. Giving residents the ability to do so will ensure that the state does not lose out on much-needed state revenue.
Serious competition in New Jersey as it regards horse races
Freehold Raceway recently became the 3rd horse track in the Garden State to offer sports wagering, joining 8 other AC casinos that are already offering sports wagering. Freehold Racing has a lot of catching up to do as it joins the much more established pack. As the oldest harness racing track in the country, Freehold faces several obstacles that it has to overcome including the sizeable lead that its competitors already enjoy.
Freehold is currently competing against the Monmouth Park horse track in the same county. Aside from Monmouth Park, the Meadowlands Racetrack situated in East Rutherford also offers sports wagering and has been at the top of the leaderboard in terms of the month to month revenue that it generates. Freehold is also yet to receive approval for its mobile sports betting platform, a situation that has left it reporting losses.
Meanwhile, Australian based operator PointsBet has been ready to offer fixed odds horse racing wagers for horse races held at Monmouth Park for some time now. The Australian company expanded its reach into the US sports betting market as a result of its partnership with BetMakers Technology Group.
PointsBets has been trying to expand fixed-odds horse racing in the country, which is a bit unusual for the American horse racing scene. Fixed-odds wagering has been a permanent fixture in Europe and all across Australia, but it has never quite taken off in the country. American punters have long relied on pari-mutuel betting for horse and dog raves.
What pari-mutuel betting does is essentially allow punters to wager against one another. The cash that is placed by the different bettors is amassed in a pool and distributed depending on the number of people that have placed wagers on a particular horse or a combination of them. The odds in pari-mutuel wagering change constantly until just before a race’s post time.
After the operator or establishment takes its expected cut, the winners are given their payout. The facility or track in question takes the same percentage each time, instead of making profits or losses based on the outcomes, as is the case in many other betting circumstances.
Fixed-odds wagering is going to change all that though. Unlike pari-mutuel betting, fixed odds wagering has lines that are set up just as they would be in other sports. The punter only has to pick their most preferred odds on the horse before placing a bet.
In this situation, the establishment profits or loses based on the outcome of the race. A win by a longshot has a positive impact on the track as it means more profits since few punters wagered on it. Alternatively, the tracks lose out of the punters hammer the crowd favorite.
If operators such as PointsBet can popularize fixed odds betting, horse racing could be back on the map again as it could rise to become the preferred betting choice for many across the country. Not only will this help to improve the profile of the industry as a whole, but it will also ensure that tracks in New Jersey continue to set the tone for the rest of the country.
Fixed-odds betting is still only available for residents in NJ and only in NJ race tracks. The great news is that it is already showing a lot of potential. That explains why BetMakers, an operator also based in Australia, also entered into a 10-year partnership with Monmouth Park and the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horseman Association to offer fixed odds wagering in the Garden State.
This news couldn’t have come at a better time after Betfair announced that it would no longer accept exchange wagers from New Jersey customers. Exchange wagering, which enables punters to come up with odds on a horse or accept another punter’s odds is very popular abroad. However, it failed to take off in the country.
Even though exchange betting was legalized in California, it was never availed to customers in the state. As such, New Jersey remained the only state to offer exchange betting until it was canceled by Betfair recently. Betfair stopped accepted exchange wagers on October 1st, 2020.
Exchange betting failed to take off because of a resistant customer base. However, the reluctance from major US racing associations to embrace innovative business models is what has caused the industry to lag. Hopefully, all this should change soon; the ability for people to place wagers out of state is a great start.
The New Jersey thoroughbred, greyhound, and harness racing market has been in dire need of a shake-up for some time now. As fixed odds betting continues to sweep the country, NJ needs to capitalize on the lead that it has in the market as it strives to offer punters a wide array of betting products and offerings. This new law allowing residents to wager on races from wherever they find themselves in the country is a move in the right direction that will see the industry prosper.
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