Bill A4909 that legalizes fixed-odds wagering on horse racing in New Jersey has been approved by both houses and will now go to the desk of Governor Phil Murphy. Once the legislation is signed by the governor, Australian firm BetMakers could begin offering fixed odds betting on July 17th, the day that the $1,000,000 TVG.com Haskell Stakes takes place.
The legislation was first passed by the Assembly in May by a vote of 74-0-1 before passing through the Senate on Monday 20th June following a vote of 40-0.
BetMakers had previously announced that it had signed a 10-year agreement with the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen Association and Darby Development LLC. — the operator of Monmouth Racetrack — to operate and manage fixed-odds betting on thoroughbred horse racing in New Jersey.
In a statement released by BetMakers following the passing of the legislation, Chief Executive Officer Todd Buckingham said:
“We are pleased that the Bill, after minor amendments, has now passed full votes on the floor of the Senate and General Assembly in New Jersey. The legislative process has been thorough and exhaustive in terms of our consultative approach with lawmakers and stakeholders in the New Jersey racing industry. We have done this with a view to setting the right legal and commercial framework for introducing Fixed Odds betting into the U.S. through New Jersey.
We feel the support for Fixed Odds as a solution to facilitate growth in the horse racing industry in the U.S. gaining momentum throughout the industry. We are excited about what this opportunity means for the racing industry in New Jersey and more broadly in the U.S. We are also excited about what it enables for BetMakers as a Company, and our shareholders.”
Supporters of the legislation hope that fixed-odds wagering will have a similar impact on the racing industry as it had when introduced in Australia.
Dallas Baker, the head of international operations for BetMaker said:
“Our ultimate goal is to have what happened in Australia over the last 10 years or so and after online betting was deregulated happen here. In that time, the handle has doubled and purse money doubled as well. That’s what we want to see here, too. The opportunity exists in the U.S. to have that happen here and on a quicker time line than 10 years.”