New Jersey Bill Would Allow Horse Racing Tracks to Offer Online Gambling

A bill that would allow New Jersey horse racing tracks to offer online gambling is up for a vote in the state Assembly on Thursday. The law would not give the tracks the ability to launch their own gaming sites but to partner with an Atlantic City casino or online affiliate to offer on-site online gaming.

According to Monmouth Park racetrack CEO Dennis Drazin, the tracks would provide an area for patrons to place bets and play games online. The area would function as a real-money gambling internet café. The bill would create an exemption in state law to allow such activity at tracks.

Aside from some form of finders fee that casinos would pay the tracks for drumming up players, the deal would not threaten the online gambling profits of casinos in any way, says Drazin. “This is really a win-win.”

Among the bill's supporters is Democratic Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, who says the state's struggling racetracks are desperate for more traffic. But will gamblers be enticed to do something at the racetrack that they could do from home?

According to supporters, it will give race fans something to do in between races without adding a new form of gambling or dividing the current market. Maybe it will not attract more business, but it has the potential to win more money from gamblers already at the track.

How much will casinos pay tracks for operating the internet cafés? The bill leaves the details of that compensation up for negotiation between the tracks and casinos.

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