Back in May of 2018, the US Supreme Court struck down PASPA, opening the doors for individual states to set their own laws on sports gambling. Since that time, a number of different states have completely legalized this industry. Now, some are calling for new betting rules for horse racing in order to compete with the hugely popular sports betting market.
This makes sense. At a number of New Jersey racetracks, visitors can also place wagers on major sporting events. One of the racing industry’s most powerful foundations wants to see horse racing change. Will this happen?
Growth of Sports Betting in Atlantic City
New Jersey was the first state to legalize sports betting after PASPA was shot down. It’s proven to be an extremely lucrative industry. Over the past year, more than $2 billion has already been wagered here. The Super Bowl, in particular, brought in hundreds of millions in revenue earlier this year.
This industry is showing no signs of slowing down. Sports gambling is available throughout most Atlantic City casinos. Interestingly, two racetracks located in New Jersey also allow their visitors to place sports wagers.
The Meadowlands Racetrack and Monmouth Park are two of the biggest horse racing venues in the state. For months now, these establishments provide betting odds on major sporting events taking place around the world.
Earlier this year, the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation released a report that calls for new betting rules for horse racing. This topic is now being seriously considered.
Will New Betting Rules for Horse Racing be Established?
The aforementioned horse racing foundation is working hard for change. In their report, they state “Racing’s existing customers, including our best customers, will be wooed by fabulously funded sports betting agencies.” This group realizes that sports betting is taking revenue away from the racing industry.
“Over roughly the next two to three years, racing must adapt to these new market conditions — accepting fixed-odds and exchange wagering on its product; developing a new funding model to support the sport in light of this disruptive, well-financed and aggressive competition; significantly boosting and improving our marketing efforts; and innovating to create new types of bets for customers who will soon be taken by agile, forward-thinking sports betting outlets. The future of horse racing on the continent will depend on it,” they argue.
Not everyone agrees that rules should change. One point that the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation wants to see is a lower takeout at horse racing tracks. Jeff Gural, who leads the Meadowlands Racetrack, feels this isn’t a possibility.
“The problem is … 90% of our business is being done off-track [via simulcast betting]. So if I lower the takeout because I feel bad for the customers, then the racetracks that take my signal won’t take it.”
This makes sense. If tracks lower their takeout in hopes of attracting more players, these establishments may not earn enough revenue to operate.
There are others that disagree, as well. New betting rules for horse racing may improve things for a short period of time. Ultimately, however, the sports betting industry will still remain the biggest revenue earner.
Will Sports Betting Destroy the Horse Racing Industry?
Sports betting is both an opportunity and a threat for horse racing. The fact that traditional sports betting helps bring in players to racetracks. Unfortunately, the money bet on sports takes away from what may be wagered on the horse races.
Some argue that horse racing will continue to thrive. Aside from a few events, there aren’t many professional sports taking place between Monday and Friday. This is the time period in which horse racing can bring in major revenue.
Others feel that unless the horse racing industry changes its takeout rate to benefit players, this industry may be in trouble. New Jersey is one of the few states to allow horse race betting online. A lower takeout rate online can also benefit players, while bringing in more bets to the tracks.
It’s unclear whether or not new betting rules for horse racing will be established in New Jersey. This state’s sports betting industry is thriving. Stay tuned for updates on racing laws here as they change.
Do you think racetracks should implement some new rules and regulations? Is sports betting destroying the horse racing industry? Let us know in the comment section below!