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New legislation may bring online gaming to New Jersey’s racetracks

By Nicole Abbott
Lawmakers in New Jersey have proposed a new bill which would enable racetracks to break into the online gambling industry, allowing them to offer on-site online gambling facilities to their customers.

The proposed legislation follows the public’s rejection to approve casinos outside of Atlantic City in their state-wide referendum last November. Due to growing out-of-state competition on the gambling market, New Jersey’s gambling industry has recently suffered notable decline.

Furthermore, Maryland’s new MGM National Harbor Resort and Casino is expected to increase pressure on New Jersey’s struggling gambling market.

Thus New Jersey’s lawmakers have proposed a new bill which would permit existing casino operators to partner with the Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport and the Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment in East Rutherford, in order to introduce specified areas inside the two racetracks where online gambling is offered.

New Jersey is still the most successful of the three US states to have legalised online gaming, producing a total revenue of $16.7 million in the sector during the month of October, which is 29.6% more than the total revenue of October 2015.

“This is a win-win for both the racetracks and the casino industry,” Dennis Drazin, Monmouth Park adviser, says. “This would be purely at the will of the casinos; I believe this would give casinos a chance to grow their business. It would give them a chance to grow their online business; they don’t have to do it if they don’t want to.”

Anthony Marino, a local market analyst, argues that the legislation could have a negative impact on visitor numbers in the state’s main gambling destination of Atlantic City: “Allowing any form of casino-like gaming at the Meadowlands, Freehold or Monmouth Park racetracks would most likely have a negative impact on visitation numbers in Atlantic City, although probably not as much as allowing actual full-service casinos as proposed in the recently defeated North Jersey casino referendum.”

“The rapid rise of internet gaming in New Jersey has already cut into visitor numbers travelling to Atlantic City; expanding that experience to racetracks close to the dense central and North Jersey population would give additional convenience gamblers reason to avoid the journey south to Atlantic City.”

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