NJ Assembly passes bill allowing tracks to partner on Internet gambling

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: Dec. 8, 2017

The New Jersey Assembly Dec. 7 passed a bill that would allow racetracks to offer Internet casino gambling if they are able to strike agreements with gambling halls in Atlantic City.

The bill, which passed by a vote of 60-12 with one abstention no comment from the floor, has been around since January of this year. It now goes to the Senate, where companion legislation also was filed in early 2017.

Internet casino-style gambling already exists in New Jersey via the casinos. There is a prohibition in the state on Internet cafes, but racetracks would be exempted under the bill that passed Dec. 7.

Monmouth Park officials have discussed setting up a room at the track in which patrons could wager on casino games through computer terminals. The state Division of Gaming Enforcement, not the New Jersey Racing Commission, would have jurisdiction.

The bill states it “shall not prohibit a casino in Atlantic City, or such casino’s Internet gambling affiliate, from entering into an agreement (with a racetrack in the state) under which the racetrack’s premises may be made available for placing wagers at casinos using the Internet and shall not prohibit advertising that a racetrack’s premises may be used for such purpose.”

The bill seems innocuous in that state-licensed casinos would not be required to pursue agreements with racetracks to establish what would be satellite Internet gambling parlors.

The legislation doesn’t set revenue splits should racetracks be able to offer Internet casino gambling; it merely states a casino or its Internet gambling affiliate “shall compensate a racetrack licensee for its services as provided in the terms of the agreement.”

(Monmouth Park photo by Tom LaMarra)