New Jersey has always been one of the most progressive states in the US when it comes to the expansion of the gaming industry.
The Garden State led the battle to bring legal sports betting to the state level as opposed to federal intervention. New Jersey sports betting has been a true pioneer and innovator when it comes to the expansion of online gambling options through the use of mobile apps.
The latest expansion efforts within the state is adding fix-odds horse betting to the list in conjunction with the more traditional use of pari-mutuel odds.
State lawmakers have unanimously approved new legislation to make this addition. It is now awaiting Gov. Phil Murphy’s signature. This would clear the way for fixed-odds betting on horse races at New Jersey race tracks, off-track betting venues, and retail sportsbooks. It would also be available online through mobile betting apps.
The main push behind this effort is to help the entire horse racing industry attract a larger betting base. Pari-mutual betting sets the betting odds when the race begins based on the various betting pools of money that have come in. A horse could be set as a 2/1 favorite five minutes to post time only to see those odds radically change due to last-minute wagers. People want more options than NYRA Bets or a TwinSpires offer code, for instance.
Fixed-odds would lock in once the wager is placed. Any future betting money that comes in would not impact a bettor’s odds.
Some sportsbooks in Las Vegas will offer fixed-odds betting options for major races such as the Kentucky Derby. Tribal casinos in North Carolina have also been known to offer this betting option on a limited basis.
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Once up and running, New Jersey would be the first state to offer fix-odds betting on horse races during daily live racing cards.
Assembly Bill 4909 authorizes the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to set up the regulatory framework within 90 days of the governor’s signature. The state’s Racing Commission would also have input during this timeframe.
However, since the bill also included an emergency clause, it would take effect immediately once Gov. Murphy signs off.
This clause was included for the benefit of Monmouth Park. The coastal New Jersey track’s signature event of the year is the Grade 1 Haskell Stakes which is part of the daily race card on Saturday, July 17.
The process to bring fixed-odds horse betting to New Jersey can be traced back to February of last year. The state along with Darby Development created a partnership with BetMakers. This Australian-based gaming company has been tasked with managing a fixed-odds racing product for New Jersey’s horse racing industry.
BetMakers CEO Tood Buckingham was instrumental in the entire legislative process. He stated:
“We have done this with the view to setting the right legal and commercial framework for introducing fixed-odds betting into the US through New Jersey. We feel the support for fixed odds as a solution to facilitate growth in the horse racing industry in the US gaining momentum throughout the industry.”
New Jersey would act as the starting point for further expansion into other states looking to offer horse betting with fixed odds.