New Jersey Race Wagering
In August 2001, the Governor enacted legislation that legalized account betting on horse racing and offtrack betting in New Jersey.
In September 2004, the Commission approved an account wagering application proposed by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA). This action allowed legal online horse wagering in the state.
In July 2006, the NJSEA received approval to implement New Jersey's first standalone offtrack wagering facility, which followed the already operating Account, Internet and Telephone Wagering systems. In 2001, the state legislature approved a bill that called for 15 offtrack wagering facilities throughout the state. The NJSEA was given rights to nine.
In November 2007, the New Jersey Legislature proposed a bill to allow sports betting in casinos. An amendment allowing sports betting at tracks was added after the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association announced its opposition to the bill.
In January 2008, New Jersey's three major racetracks were forced to reduce the amount of purse money offered to winners to try to make up for a deficit in the budget. The tracks also had to reduce race days and lay off employees.
New Jersey legislators have given thought to introducing casino-style gaming at racetracks, but the state constitution specifically requires a referendum for any new form of gambling. The state is required to obtain voter approval before putting VLTs or other games at racetracks. In March 2008, the state Senate approved legislation to give the state's horse tracks a $90 million subsidy from casinos over the course of three years. In addition, the bill kept VLTs out of the tracks for the same timeframe and gave the casinos a potential tax break. In May 2008, Gov. Corzine signed the bill into law.
In June 2010, in order to attract a younger demographic to horse racing, the New Jersey Assembly passed an exchange wagering bill. Exchange wagering allows New Jersey residents to bet against each other on the outcome of races. Bets are typically placed via the internet, but under this bill, people could also bet in person or by phone.
In April 2011, Governor Christie signed two racing bills. The first bill allowed for advanced betting on races not simulcast at the facility as long as the race was simulcast at other state facilities. The second bill reduced the racing season at Meadowlands Racetrack to 75 days to help other racetracks become more self-sustaining.
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