New Jersey Lawmakers Approve Fixed Odds Horse Race Wagering

The New Jersey gambling market never disappoints when it comes to constant innovation. Just recently, the legislators in the Garden State unanimously approved to legalize fixed-odds horse race betting. This move not only makes New Jersey the first state to approve fixed odds betting on horse races, but this bold move will change the future of the horse racing industry forever.

After months of deliberating, the state Senate alongside the General Assembly voted to unanimously legalize fixed odds betting for horse races in the Garden State. The bill that made this possible was authored by Democrat Ralph Caputo and Republican Ronald Dancer last year at the height of the ongoing pandemic. Now that the bill has been approved, BetMakers will now offer fixed odds betting in the state thus effectively offering horse race punters an alternative wagering market alongside the already existing mutual pools.

Once Governor Phil Murphy signs the bill, punters and horse race lovers in New Jersey can start taking part in fixed odds wagering. Legislators had hoped that the bill would be ready and signed in time for the Haskell Stakes. Sadly though, the Haskell Stakes was concluded recently at Monmouth Park. As such, bettors in the state will have to wait a little more patiently before they can begin wagering on fixed odds.

Fixed-odds betting may be new to New Jersey, but punters in Australia and England have been placing fixed odds bets on horse races for years. Punters in New Jersey have been complaining for years about the ineffective pari-mutuel system of betting. This new addition to the horse race wagering market is everything that modern punters have been anticipating and more.

For horseplayers that are often frustrated by the mounting takeout percentages and last-second batch wagering by computer bettors, the introduction of fixed odds betting to the market is more than enough reason to celebrate. 


What are the particulars of fixed odds wagering in New Jersey?

Now that fixed odds betting is a reality in the Garden State, BetMakers will provide the infrastructure to deploy fixed odds bets as soon as the governor signed on the dotted line. BetMakers signed a 10-year partnership with Monmouth Park early last year. BetMakers is also affiliated with Grants Pass Downs, Emerald Downs, Lone Star Park, Colonial Downs, as well as the FanDuel betting site that’s situated at Fairmount Park.

Once approved, punters will be allowed to place fixed odds bets on races at all state tracks and simulcast outlets. New Jersey bettors will also be able to place wagers whenever they are in another state that also allows fixed odds betting on horse races. According to the bill, the revenue generated from fixed odds bets will be shared with horsemen through traditional purses.


What does it mean for the state?

BetMakers is also affiliated with 3 additional tracks that are situated in Canada. Although many are excited by this new development, not everyone is jumping up and down for joy. In particular, several parties including the Stronach Group, the New York Racing Association, as well as Churchill Downs have come out opposed to the legalization of fixed-odds betting on races.

That’s because these tracks still rely on the time-tested pari mutuel wagering system to generate revenue. Although these parties may be resistant now, they will inevitably fall in line as fixed odds betting popularity keeps rising. When other sports were mandated to stop live broadcasting last year, horse races maintained operations.

As such, the number of people that are willing to wager on horse races has grown exponentially. When coupled with sports betting, the horse racing industry stands to gain a lot from legalized fixed odds wagering on horse races. The horse racing industry has slowly been losing its wagering monopoly ever since sports betting was legalized in New Jersey.

Horse races have a long tradition of pari-mutuel wagering which often causes the odds to keep fluctuating. In this traditional betting system, the bets are not set until all the horses break out of the starting gate. Although this system used to work in the past, it is not popular with younger bettors, many of whom have become accustomed to wagering on sports.

Sports bettors rely on the fixed odds betting system to generate their revenue. As such, once fixed odds betting is made official, there should be a cross-over taking place. Fixed-odds betting is exactly what the country and the horse racing market need to adapt and compete in this new and rapidly transforming modern betting landscape.

As the oldest sport, the horse racing industry has been forced to endure numerous changes through the years, and this new change is no different. When the lotteries were introduced across the country, the horse racing industry had to grapple with the changes. It also had to deal with the new additions when casino gambling became the norm rather than the exception. 

The good news is that once approved, fixed odds betting will not be as hard to implement as it was in Australia or England. These 2 countries have been offering fixed odds betting for years successfully and will provide the country with the blueprint it needs to make fixed odds betting in the US a success.

Case in point, Australia sees at least $25 billion bets placed each year on horse races. That’s approximately $15 billion more than what American punters place at the races. America has a much larger population and an eager wagering fan base, which indicates that it could be even more successful than Australia or England.


Final Thoughts

Once New Jersey starts offering fixed odds betting, more states will follow suit, just as they did with sports betting. BetMakers is already devising other ways to sign up other tracks in the country to add fixed odds in its wagering menu. It is not exactly clear how many more tracks are willing to introduce this new system, but experts remain hopeful. 

Once it is made available, sports bettors that have been ignoring horse races for years will also be a lot more enticed to give betting on horses a try, which is great news all around for the struggling market.

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