You may well be able to place a sports bet at New Jersey‘s Monmouth Park before the final leg of the Triple Crown. Yes, you read that right. The racetrack, one of the most well-known and vocal in New Jersey, hasn’t just been sitting around waiting for the Supreme Court to deem the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act illegal. No, Monmouth Park has been banking on New Jersey sports betting really happening.
Hours after the Supreme Court announced its decision on Monday in favor of New Jersey in Murphy v NCAA, striking down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act on 10th Amendment grounds, Monmouth Park officials announced that they’ll be ready to open their doors for sports betting before the June 9 Belmont Stakes.
The racetrack has spent approximately $3 million preparing a race and sportsbook that could be “up and open” in about two weeks, Dennis Drazin, the CEO of Darby Development LLC, which operates Monmouth Park, said in a press conference on Monday. For a look at what the facility in the William Hill Race and Sports Bar looks like, click here for a video created by NJ.com
Monmouth Park Poised to Become Location of the Start of NJ Sports Betting
Officials at the Oceanport, N.J. track have began work on a sports bar area, which will be converted in a sportsbook, since voters in New Jersey voted by referendum in 2011 to allow sports betting. Plans are also in the works to add additional betting windows and machines near the grandstand area.
At Monday’s press conference, there was a palpable sense of enthusiasm and relief that horse racing would continue to thrive in New Jersey.
“This has been a fight which is really tantamount to the survival of horse racing in the state,” Drazin said. “Monmouth Park has been the leader throughout in fighting this fight. We were, frankly, the only ones willing to do it in the beginning. Other racetracks and casinos has regulatory concerns resulting from businesses they had in other states. But Monmouth Park throughout has been the leader in this and even when everybody was telling me it’s time to give up … we kept persevering.
“Despite all of those who kind of felt it was almost like Don Quixote tilting at windmills, we have won. There does come a day when Goliath is defeated by David, and we’re at a point where this is history in the United States.”
Monmouth Park, which established its own regulatory body to oversee sports betting, will accept only in-person wagers initially, with plans to expand to mobile and online betting in the future. In addition, William Hill, which will run the Monmouth Park sports betting operation, has plans to build a more elaborate sportsbook in the future.
New Jersey’s protracted legal battle against the leageus case was heard before the Supreme Court in December 2017 and those in the industry, as well as professional and college sports leagues, have been anxiously awaiting a decision. SCOTUS ruled 7-2 in favor of New Jersey.
Now that PASPA is gone, the Garden State still needs to create a legal and regulatory framework for sports wagering, which it has already begun.
According to the Asbury Park Press, Monmouth Park could see a revenue windfall of up to $25 million and sports betting could bring up to $50 million in total revenue, which would be split evenly between William Hill and the racetrack.
Update: There’s now a date on the table: Monday, May 28:
When they told me the 28th I was a little concerned because it’s a Monday, and I would like to try to do it before the weekend,’’ Drazin said. “But with all the logistics, getting everyone trained, that is the date we are targeting now.’