Sportsbooks are beginning to crop up in the Garden State. At last count, there are three. Meadowlands Racetrack will very soon make it four.
On July 14, the East Rutherford facility will open its doors to NJ sports betting. With the debut, the track will not only attract New Jersey residents but also a horde of bettors from the New York metropolitan area.
Meadowlands is leaving ground. Will things ever be the same again?
It’s the final countdown.
Homestretch to Victory
In eight days, however, Meadowlands will join the crowd when the Victory Sports Bar & Club welcomes its first crop of bettors. In a story published Friday, Meadowlands owner Jeff Gural told NorthJersey.com that while he does not know what to expect from bringing in legalized sports betting, there is “unlimited potential” with what the track can do considering its location.
“When you get to the metropolitan New York area,” said Gural, noting that 12 million people live within 20 miles of Meadowlands, “anything could happen. We’ll have to wait and see how it plays out.”
What can be expected?
In early June, Meadowlands officially partnered with Betfair US, the American arm of European bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair. It was a landmark deal considering the timing.
It was just a few weeks after the US Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), opening the door for single-game wagering. And Gov. Phil Murphy at the time was only days away from legalizing sports betting in New Jersey.
Now, Meadowlands is on the threshold of rolling out its sportsbook, powered by Betfair, which acquired daily fantasy sports giant FanDuel in May.
Keith Wall, a Betfair retail director, told NorthJersey.com that wagers will be accepted on “all major US sports.”
“We’ll have multiple markets on each of the sports,” he said. “You can bet on the win or a halftime or a quarter. You’ll be able to bet on the first score within a game.”
Meadowlands will have 10 teller windows and potentially could feature self-service mobile betting by the start of football season.
Timing is everything
Gural has displayed masterful timing for sports betting at his racetrack.
“New York did me such a favor by not passing sports betting,” Gural told the Associated Press at the time. “That leaves me the entirety of New York City, Long Island, Westchester County. There are 15 million people that live within 20 miles of the Meadowlands. They gave me a tremendous gift.”
Earlier this week, Gural announced that sports betting would come to the racetrack a day earlier on July 14. Why is that noteworthy? It is the same day as the annual Meadowlands Pace, which typically draws one of the larger crowds of the Meadowlands’ racing season.
All of that sets up the 42-year-old racetrack for one monstrous, raucous and revitalizing weekend — and, potentially, a rich future.
“Meadowlands Racetrack has the potential to be among the best, if not the best, sports betting venues in the US,” Kip Levin, CEO of Betfair US, said in a release after Betfair partnered with Meadowlands. “Combining these premier facilities with the global sports betting prowess of Paddy Power Betfair is a great match and will enable us to bring an unparalleled sports betting experience to customers in the northeast.”