New Jersey’s Monmouth Park racetrack says it plans to offer legal sports betting before the end of the month, while a key state legislator says his new betting bill won’t be approved until the end of June.
On Tuesday, Dennis Drazin, CEO of the company that operates the Monmouth Park track, told local media that the track’s William Hill-powered sportsbook aimed to take its first legal sports wager on Monday, May 28, aka the Memorial Day holiday.
The Asbury Park Press quoted Drazin saying the May 28 date was arrived at following an internal discussion, as well as talks with partner William Hill US, in the wake of Monday’s historic Supreme Court ruling striking down the 1992 federal sports betting prohibition.
Drazin said he’d have preferred to launch the sportsbook before the Memorial Day weekend kicks off, “but with all the logistics of getting everyone trained, that is the date we are targeting now.” The timing would be fortuitous, given the NBA finals are scheduled to get underway on May 31.
On Monday, New Jersey State Senate President Stephen Sweeney announced new draft legislation (viewable at the bottom of this page) to formally regulate land-based and online sports wagering, and Drazin said his group “would defer to the legislature” if they tell him to hold off until their bill is approved, “but I know the legislature is going to move swiftly on this.”
Because Sweeney’s bill is revenue-related, its legislative journey must begin in the state Assembly. NJ Advance Media quoted Sweeney saying Tuesday that he’d spoken to his Assembly colleagues and Sweeney expects the process to move forward “rather quickly.”
Reportedly, the goal is to secure passage in the Assembly by May 24 and then in the Senate by June 7, with an ultimate goal of having the final legislation ready for Governor Murphy’s signature by June 30.
For the record, Sweeney’s draft bill contains no mention of any ‘integrity fee’ to be paid to the pro sports leagues that opposed New Jersey’s legal betting quest over the past six years. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., who reps the state in Washington, told ESPN’s Outside the Lines program that “for the leagues to expect any money from New Jersey after we spent all the money fighting them in court is a little unreasonable on their part. That’s not going to happen.”