Monmouth deal will facilitate fixed-odds bets on New Jersey racing

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: Feb. 6, 2020

Darby Development, operator of Monmouth Park, has signed an agreement with an Australian company to be its exclusive distributor of fixed-odds racing content in the United States.

BetMakers Technology Group in a release said it plans to provide “a solution for racing bodies from both the U.S. and internationally to access licensed wagering operators in New Jersey.” The company said the agreement may be subject to further regulatory approval.

New Jersey racetracks and casinos began offering full sports betting in the spring of 2018 and Monmouth thus far has offered some proposition bets on racing as part of its sports betting mix.

The deal with BetMakers begins in May, when the live meet kicks off at Monmouth, and is scheduled to run five years with the ability to renew. BetMakers said it guaranteed Darby Development a total of $5 million in “turnover fees” over the initial five years.

Monmouth will make its tote pools available for international bookmakers, which the parties believe “will assist the growth of the domestic tote pools and underpin the sustainability and growth of New Jersey horse racing,” the release said.

“We have been instrumental in the roll out of sports betting into the U.S. and now we will be the driver of fixed-odds horse racing in New Jersey and hopefully throughout the U.S.,” Darby Development Chief Executive Officer Dennis Drazin said in the release. “We selected BetMakers as our partner in delivering this concept due to its extensive knowledge and understanding of what is required to make this a success.”

Drazin said Darby Development officials will be visiting Australia “as part of an education piece to understand how we can maximize the return on our racing for our participants including owners, breeders, trainers, horse handlers and operational staff at Monmouth Park.”

The agreement allows bookmakers to offer fixed-odds betting on horse racing where the racing body or rights holder allows such wagering occurs. BetMakers said it intends to form agreements with other U.S.-based and international racetracks that would like to access the New Jersey market by offering their content to bookmakers licensed in New Jersey.

Bookmakers must agree to the terms under the New Jersey fixed-odds model which pays a portion of handle to a racetrack in the form of a rights’ fee. BetMakers said it has established the “Global Racing Network,” which will initially launch in New Jersey and provide a “uniformed set of standard conditions for both racing bodies and bookmakers to allow clarity of reporting and distribution of data and content.”

“We believe that U.S. horse racing has the potential to be the largest betting sport in the U.S., including basketball, American football and baseball,” said Todd Buckingham, CEO of BetMakers. “There is a real opportunity for the U.S. horseracing market to grow like it has in Australia, which has seen (purse money) levels double over the past seven to 10 years based on a funding model that is equitable to all participants.”

(Monmouth Park photo by Tom LaMarra)