New Jersey becomes the first state to legalise fixed-odds horse racing betting, as Governor Phil Murphy signed new “Fixed-Odds Wagering Act” bill into law on Thursday.
The new legislation allows customers to place fixed-odds racing bets through official licenced-holders. Licensees will be obligated to pay a share of their revenue to the permit holder.
The bill marks an historic moment for betting, as previously bettors could only place pari-mutuel wagers in which they did not know the final odds until sportsbooks closed betting. Now, New Jerseyans can lock in prices on horses at the time they make the bet.
The signature comes after the bill found unanimous approval in the New Jersey Senate and Assembly in June, making now New Jersey the first state in the US to legalise fixed odds betting on horse racing.
Monmouth Park Chairman and CEO Dennis Drazin said: "Just like sports betting, New Jersey will become the first state to legalise fixed odds betting on horse racing and we are very excited about what this can do for the industry."
This New Jersey precedent is expected to boost figures for the horse racing industry, following the positive numbers generated by racetracks in countries such as Australia, where fixed-odds betting is legal across the country and racetracks take around $25bn in wagers each year. Earlier this year, Bill Pascrell III, lobbyist for Monmouth Park, said: “If we don’t do fixed odds, within the next ten years and perhaps even sooner, the horse racing industry is going to die on the vine.”
Australian betting company BetMakers has an exclusive 10-year agreement, signed on 2020, for fixed-odds on thoroughbred horseracing in the state due to a deal with the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horseman Association and Darby Development, operator of Monmouth Park racetrack.
The online wagering solutions provider welcomed the announcement, as it means that any wagering operator in New Jersey must reach an agreement through them in order to bet fixed-odds.
BetMakers CEO Todd Buckingham said: "The introduction of Fixed Odds betting on horseracing by law in New Jersey is a historic moment for wagering in the US and a landmark achievement for BetMakers.”
The company’s CEO also remarks that the announcement sets a precedent legal framework “that is relevant for our discussion with other states in the US.”
According to Pascrell III, who also lobbies for BetMakers, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Colorado and Oklahoma as also working on new betting options.