Horse Racing Gets Boost from NJ Sports Betting
By Ken Edwards, 13 December 2018
In a compact room furnished with betting booths and multiple televisions at New Jersey’s Meadowlands Racetrack, not every screen is tuned to horse racing.
On one recent afternoon, two TVs showed an NHL game and an NBA game, another tracked Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson play a round together at a golf tournament and another two screens beamed Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic playing concurrent matches live from the ATP Finals in London in the UK.
Designed to replicate the vibe of a Las Vegas casino, Meadowlands patrons can now legally plonk down a bet on any number of sports events, in addition to placing a wager on the ponies at the track.
Horse racing in New Jersey long envisioned sports betting as a potential stimulus to the struggling industry and with the sports betting now legal across the Garden State, those dreams have now become reality.
Meadowlands Race Purses to get a $1 million per year boost from Sports Betting
When the FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands launched on July 14 2018, it quickly became the single top-grossing retail land-based sportsbook location in the Garden State, and one of the biggest grossing stand-alone sports betting locations on the planet. The most recent statistics to hand show that the FanDuel Sportsbook operation at the Meadowlands track has recorded more than $15 million through the end of October 2018.
Sharing in that success, race purses at Meadowlands Racetrack will be receiving a $1 million a year boost from the sports betting operations at the track.
Announced on December 1, the Meadowlands Racetrack and the Standardbred Breeders and Owners of New Jersey (SBOANJ) have reached a 10-year, revenue sharing agreement. The agreement will add a minimum of $1 million a year to the purses available on races at the track.
Moreover, it could yet transpire that the state of New Jersey is poised to give NJ horse racing another $100 million over the next five years.
$100 million New Jersey Horse Racing Bill
A bill recently introduced in both houses of the New Jersey State Legislature, if eventually passed, could potentially provide a $20 million per annum purse subsidy to the state’s racetracks over five years.
The bill could add annually;
- $6 million for Meadowlands purses
- $1.6 million for Freehold Raceway purses
- $10 million for Monmouth Park, and;
- $2.4 million distributed for breeder awards and stakes bonuses.
“With a bill for a five-year, $100 million purse appropriation scheduled to be introduced in the legislature shortly,” said New Meadowlands Racetrack Chairman Jeff Gural, “we are all hopeful that we will be able to continue our good work with the SBOANJ and bring the Meadowlands back to its stature as a premier racing venue.”
If passed, the payments will begin in 2019. The money will come from the state’s general fund which has had its revenue coffers filled with the additional income that legal sports betting is providing.
SBOANJ switches tack and implores sports bettors to assist in saving the NJ Horse Racing Industry
Mark Ford, the SBOANJ president, now believes that the passage of the bill may occur at the beginning on the January 2019 legislative session.
Ford beseeched bettors and all industry cohorts to reach out to legislators in advising exactly how crucial the new bill is to New Jersey horse racing. He urged New Jersey sports bettors to help wherever and however they can;
“If you are betting sporting events, be sure to place your bets with FanDuel at the Meadowlands or use the FanDuel app, as a portion of every dollar you wager will show up in the purse account.”