The New Jersey General Assembly reportedly approved proposed legislation last week that would allow the state’s three horseracing tracks to sign deals with Atlantic City casinos in order to offer online gambling to race-goers.
According to a report from FlushDraw, the lower house in Trenton passed Assembly Bill 4255 by a vote of 60 to twelve with one abstention on Thursday and the measure is now destined to go before the 40-member and Democratic-controlled New Jersey Senate for further consideration.
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G3Newswire reported that New Jersey legalized online gambling in November of 2013 and the industry has so far generated aggregated revenues of around $682.6 million with some $119.4 million of this going to the state including approximately $3.6 million in October alone.
However, current regulations reportedly forbid any land-based venue located outside of Atlantic City from offering real-money online gambling but Assembly Bill 4255 would alter this prohibition by creating a special carve-out for horseracing tracks such as Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport. The legislation purportedly envisages permitting such locations, which would continue to be prevented from offering slots and table games, to create bespoke areas where punters could wager over the Internet between race sessions.
Assembly Bill 4255 reportedly states that thoroughbred and harness racing tracks in New Jersey would be allowed to ‘enter into an agreement with a casino located in Atlantic City or such a casino’s Internet gaming affiliate’ in order to make their premises ‘available as a venue at which the holder of an Internet gaming account may place wagers at casinos using the Internet’.
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According to a report from The Associated Press news service published by The Providence Journal newspaper, Ralph Caputo, a Democratic member of the New Jersey General Assembly, stated that Assembly Bill 4255 is a way to ‘bring more traffic into the racetracks’ as they ‘need it desperately’.
Dennis Drazin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Monmouth Park Racetrack, reportedly told The Associated Press that he is hoping the proposed legislation receives the full support of the casino industry as ‘absolutely nothing will happen unless they agree to allow it through an agreement with a track’.
“Nobody is forcing anything on them,” Drazin reportedly told The Associated Press. “This is really a win-win for the racing industry and the casino industry.”