New Jersey to consider expanded online gambling
Lawmakers in New Jersey have proposed a new bill that would enable racetracks in the US state to open and run on-site internet gambling facilities.
The bill focuses on Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport and Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment in East Rutherford, each of which would be allowed to partner with existing casino operators to create online gaming areas.
According to the Press of Atlantic City newspaper, the so-called internet cafes would help boost the state’s struggling horse racing industry, as well as enable casinos to demonstrate their online gambling services.
New Jersey remains the most successful of the three US states to have legalised online gaming, with the results for October showing total revenue of $16.7 million (€15.8 million) for the sector, 29.6% more than the corresponding month last year.
“This is a win-win for both the racetracks and the casino industry,” Monmouth Park adviser Dennis Drazin said.
“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.”
However, local market analyst Anthony Marino is less optimistic about the plans, saying that the move could have a negative impact on visitor numbers in the state’s main gambling destination of Atlantic City.
Marino said: “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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