Online Gaming May Soon Be Available Via NJ Horse Race Tracks

by Kyle Miller

NJ Horse RacingNew Jersey horse race tracks may soon be offering online gaming if new legislation passes into law.

Online gaming is prevalent in the state of New Jersey as top operators continue to do well, offering both casino and poker gaming options. Land based casino operators of Atlantic City had the ability to partner with online gaming operators to begin offering iGaming services starting in 2013 and so far, the industry continues to bring in solid results by way of record revenues. Now, we soon may see even more online gaming options if a proposed law passes, allowing horse race tracks to get in on the action.

New Legislation in the Works

In the past, horse race tracks had plans to become involved in the gambling industry of New Jersey. Last year, there were efforts made to allow the race tracks of the state to become involved with casino gaming by allowing casinos to be created outside of Atlantic City. However, these plans fell through as a referendum to allow the expansion was rejected by voters. Track owners then went back to the drawing board so to speak in order to be able to find a way to offer casino gaming. The result is a measure that would allow racetracks to offer internet cafes for visitors enjoying horse race betting.

Today, the state Assembly is set to vote on the measure. The bill, A 4255, was introduced in December of last year and has the possibility to move forward quickly since there is a companion bill in place. The companion measure is S 2946, a bill that was introduced within the Senate back in January.

What the Bill Allows

The legislation would allow online gambling to take place at the racetracks in New Jersey. The tracks will have to partner with land based casinos in order to be approved to offer internet café style gaming. Since online gambling is already allowed in the state, it seems odd that this bill would be needed to allow the race tracks to offer online gaming. However, the bill really centers on the tracks being able to set up internet cafes.

Internet cafes are currently illegal in the state, but the race tracks would be able to offer such online gaming via the new legislation. Monmouth Park and other race tracks want to offer some type of casino gaming and this is their best option. The race tracks will be placing computer terminals in a specific area so that visitors can place horse wagers and then use the internet café in-between races.

Supporters of the option feel that the internet cafes will be a win-win for the casinos and the race tracks. If the bill is passed into law, race tracks will not be able to move forward unless they partner with a casino. The track would be able to earn compensation from the casino for creating new business for the venue and the track would be compensated as well. How much this would be is anybody’s guess. It seems that the casino and horse track may have the ability to set the amount themselves based on their individual partnerships.

For now, we must wait and see if the bill is passed into law. If the measure fails to move forward, the horse tracks will have to find yet another way to become involved in the gaming industry further. This is a last ditch effort of sorts as there is not much time for the bill to pass and it might not have the support needed to move forward.