It’s been nearly 20 months since sports betting was legalized in New Jersey. Monmouth Park and Meadowlands Racetrack were among the first to see their casinos and racetracks become a sports betting hub in the state. The next is Freehold Raceway, which is all poised to get its first sports betting facility ready before the regular season of NFL 2020.
A petition from the racetrack owned by Pennwood Racing is with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. It seeks to grant the facility the license to conduct sports betting activities before the gaming season hits. The Freehold Borough Council, fortunately, gives a unanimous thumbs-up to the proposal.
How is it coming about?
In May 2018, the US Supreme Court ruling opened the door for New Jersey to offer Las Vegas-style gambling. Since then, the list of sports betting operators never stopped increasing. Freehold Raceway was the latest to apply for a license to offer sports betting.
The Pennwood Racing indeed is the owner of Freehold Raceway, which is a joint venture by two major players, namely Penn National Gaming and Greenwood Racing. When the petition gets the approval of the DGE, the facility will become the 11th land-based venue in New Jersey that has a dedicated sportsbook on-site.
Moreover, granting a license would also make Freehold Raceway eligible to select up to three partners for online sports betting in New Jersey. Until now, only three licensees have managed to get it. When Freehold sports betting goes live, New Jersey will house up to thirty-three online sports betting brands. However, the DGE of New Jersey first needs to pass Freehold’s application.
What’s the potential?
The administrator of Freehold Borough, Steve Gallo, said that the early plans would not likely call for a huge overhaul. In fact, they are not coming up with anything new. Surely, there’s not going to be any trigger of a major land-use application.
As the Freehold Raceway is under the ownership of Penn National Gaming and Greenwood Racing, it won’t be wrong to expect some sports betting operators to come up in New Jersey very soon. The Garden State is considered a hugely coveted market for sports betting operators providing mobile offerings. In January 2020, monthly sports betting revenue in New Jersey was $53.6 million. Eighty-seven percent of these came through online gaming.
Each casino and racetrack in New Jersey can provide up to 3 skins. Also, each Penn National Gaming and Greenwood Racing has fifty-fifty ownership in the racetrack. Both have many partnerships fixed in place already.
Penn National Gaming might introduce a sportsbook from an operator called Barstool Sports, which operates in 19 states. This gaming operator has sports betting partnerships with DraftKings, Fox Bet, PointsBet, and theScore Bet. All of them operate in New Jersey with partnerships with separate land-based brands.
The Garden State is the home of Atlantic City, the hub where online casino games have been available to the public for many years. All nine casinos in Atlantic City have sports betting offerings. Presently, there are nearly 14 licensed online/mobile sportsbooks in the state. These include FanDuel sportsbook, Caesars sportsbook, William Hill sportsbook, Golden Nugget sportsbook, and others.