Thanks to legislation signed by governor Chris Christie last Friday – which allows for legalized sports betting at casinos and race tracks in New Jersey – Monmouth Park, one of the state’s oldest thoroughbred tracks, is planning to offer sports betting this Sunday.
“We’re very excited,” Monmouth Park spokesman Dennis Drazin said on The MoJo Show. “The opportunity to offer sports betting in New Jersey – finally after a long struggle – has Monmouth pinned and ready to participate in this exciting new venture.”
Now the park just has to wait and see if it will actually be able to. The NCAA, NFL and other major professional sports leagues filed a motion to try to prevent New Jersey from offering sports betting.
“Well, what we’re hearing about the leagues is that the leagues have filed papers,” Drazin said. “They filed a complaint this week, and they filed papers late (Tuesday) to try to get a temporary injunction to stop us from going forward on Sunday. We will submit our papers in response (Wednesday), and we will see what the judge does.
“But right now, we’re planning on offering sport betting at Monmouth Park,” Drazin continued. “We believe that we have followed the roadmap that was laid out by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and done exactly what the court said we can do – which is repeal the prohibitions in New Jersey. We think the league is going to have a hard time convincing a judge that what they said before is no longer true. The leagues and the federal government has said throughout the litigation that New Jersey is not commandeered or compelled to keep these laws on the books, that we could repeal them and we would not be violating (anything). In my book, nothing’s changed. We will eventually win this case in court, and we’re excited about it.”
What does this mean for New Jersey, you ask? In two words, a lot.
“Well, long-term this is a $500-billion – mostly illegal – industry in this country,” Drazin said. “New Jersey’s share of that revenue is probably $10 billion a year. We think the Monmouth Park share is about 10 percent of the entire state, so the handle at Monmouth Park is likely – conservatively – to be about a billion dollars a year. So this means a lifeline and preservation of world-class racing at Monmouth Park. It means jobs for the community. It means a $1-billion economic-impact industry is going to be saved. It means 13,000 people who are employed throughout the industry will always have a job, and it means that Open Space and Green Acres will be preserved and we will flourish. We’re excited to offer this.”