Until now, New Jersey online casinos and poker have been the sole domain of Atlantic City casinos.
A new bill primarily concerned with NJ sports betting mentions the intersection of racetracks and online gambling, however.
What’s new in NJ?
On Monday, a new bill surfaced in the NJ legislature seeking to regulate and tax sports gambling in the state.
If you’re familiar with the US Supreme Court sports betting case that is currently awaiting a decision, this may seem like a strange bill to see pop up. But in that case — which centers on the federal sports wagering ban outside of Nevada — New Jersey passed a law attempting to offer what amounts to unregulated wagering.
To tax and regulate sports betting formally if the Supreme Court strikes down the law, it needs a new law, in theory. This bill would provide that.
More on the sports betting bill here.
Sooooo… NJ online gambling for tracks?
The interesting side note to this story is a passage that deals with online gambling in the state.
Casinos, of course, have been operating online gambling sites for more than five years. The two NJ racetracks — Monmouth Park and Meadowlands — have not been involved in the iGaming industry to date. Just last year, a bill surfaced that would have allowed internet gaming cafes at tracks. That bill never got much traction, however.
Now, here’s the new language from the above NJ sports betting bill that pertains to tracks and online casinos:
…A racetrack permitholder that operates an online sports pool may not offer any other game or type of wagering online other than a sports pool or wagering on horse races, except that the racetrack permitholder may do so pursuant to an agreement approved by the division with a casino that holds an Internet gaming permit that allows such additional online wagering.
Will that change anything?
It’s not clear how much this passage would change the status quo for NJ racetracks, which in theory could operate as “skins” or branded websites under the umbrella of existing online casino licensees in the state:
The bill is extremely detailed in regards to its interaction with gaming law, so it might just be offering clarity to existing law.
Still, a world in which online sports betting is legal in New Jersey could prompt the tracks to reevaluate what they are currently doing — which is nothing — when it comes to iGaming. Monmouth, for its part, already has a deal in place with sportsbook operator William Hill. The track has a physical sportsbook location ready to go within weeks of a Supreme Court decision.
We’ll have to wait and see, both on the bill’s prospects and how tracks proceed with iGaming.