Oceanport, New Jersey’s famous Monmouth Park Racetrack is preparing to start taking sports bets from later this year, although doubts still exist whether legislation will change in order for this to be possible.
Dennis Drazin, the representative of the horse track had made the highly optimistic statement while participating in sports betting discussion conducted as part of the East Coast Gaming Congress & iGaming Institute held in Atlantic City earlier this week.
The East Coast Gaming Congress is one of the largest events of its kind in the world and not surprisingly, the views of the participants received quite a bit of media coverage.
As a matter of fact, the other panellists in the discussion such as Eamonn Toland of sports bookie Paddy Power and Joe Lupo, senior executive of the Borgata Hotel and Casino did not share his positive outlook.
New Jersey officials have campaigned for years to get sports betting legalised and they have also taken the battle to court, albeit with little success.
Democratic Sen. Rey Lesniak has been at the helm of New Jersey’s campaign to legalise the highly profitable sports betting trade and to revitalise the economy of New Jersey.
New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie had signed a bill last October to legalise betting at licensed casinos and racetracks in the state against which an injunction was filed by a few sports leagues.
As of the present, there is a ruling pending in the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia on this issue.
There will be clarity on this issue on 26 June when the court rules on the case.
If the appeal against the ban is successful, then the Garden State will become the fifth state in the Union that permits sports betting after Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon.
All the major sports leagues in the United States such as the Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Football League (NFL) are opposed to the idea of legalising sports betting because they fear that it will compromise the quality of the game.
They feel that sports betting will be the gateway to irregularities in sports and that this will erode the fan base of these sports.
The federal ban on sports betting enacted by Congress in 1992 as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act has therefore, received support from these leagues.
Other discussions that took place during the conference included internet security and the need to provide mobile gambling services so that the industry caters to the changing tastes of customers.
More than 600 members of the gambling and gaming industry took part in the event, alongside participants from government, law enforcement and other related industries.
It looks highly unlikely that sports betting will be made legal in New Jersey any time soon; no matter how optimistic some people are willing to be.
Even so, there is a perceptible thaw in official attitudes towards sports betting, leading one to believe that legalisation of sports betting will happen, later if not sooner, and the public will benefit the most.