men on horses

Legislation Allows Residents to Place Horse Racing Bets when Out-of-State; Is Betting on College Next?

Expanded opportunities for gambling within the state, and for residents when out-of-state, have been the focus of recent legislation in both the State Senate and Assembly.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation allowing residents to place wagers using New Jersey’s horse racing account wagering system while in another state. The legislation passed unanimously in both the Assembly (73-0) and Senate (35-0).

“All New Jersey residents should be allowed to place wagers on horse racing no matter where they are, whether it’s online or through an agency,” said Assemblyman Ron Dancer (R-12) in a press statement. “With the changes in technology, our access to place wagers has changed and the law should reflect those changes. It’s also critical we do everything we can do to keep our staple industries afloat during and after the coronavirus pandemic.”

Recovering Wagers

In addition to Dancer, the bipartisan Assembly bill was sponsored by Assembly Democrats Eric Houghtaling (D-11) and Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-37).

“Allowing our residents to place their bets while traveling out of the state will help ensure New Jersey does not lose out on wagering revenue and that it will remain within our system,” wrote Houghtaling and Vainieri Huttle in a press release. “Just because our residents are taking a trip doesn’t mean they should have to miss out on the excitement of betting on their favorite sporting event.”

Additionally, the Senate Budget Committee has approved a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would allow wagering on collegiate competitions taking place in New Jersey.

College Expansion

State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-36) sponsored the proposal, which would seek voter approval to permit wagering on collegiate athletic events taking place in New Jersey. This would include state events in which a New Jersey college team participates.

Supporters pointed to the recent announcement by the NCAA that Prudential Center in Newark will be the site for the 2025 East Regional, with Seton Hall University serving as the host school.

“This is an important opportunity we have to capitalize upon,” said Sarlo. “We need to support and sustain this growing market that is fast becoming a significant part of our regional and state economies. March Madness is a high-profile event on the sports betting calendar, and we should be a key player.”

Leader in Sports Betting Nationwide

Wagering on collegiate sported events would be permitted through casinos and current or former horse racetracks.

“New Jersey has become the country’s biggest sports betting market, and the Meadowlands is the largest sports wagering facility in the state,” said Sarlo.

In August, the state set a record for any sports betting jurisdiction, with some $668 million wagered at the state’s racetracks and casino. It produced gross revenues of $39.5 million, including $20.2 million through FanDuel at the Meadowlands Racetrack alone.

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