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Sports Betting at Monmouth Park?

Written by The Two River Times. Posted in Featured, Front Page, News

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Published on July 04, 2014 with No Comments

By John Burton

OCEANPORT – Sports gambling could be coming to Monmouth Park as soon as late this summer – if Gov. Chris Christie signs off on it.

Despite some recent setbacks for those advocating for sports betting at the state’s casino and racetracks, a bill authored and sponsored by Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak, D-Union, and passed by large majorities in the Senate and Assembly on June 26 seems to pave the way for it in the coming months.

The bills, S2250 in the Senate and A3476 in the Assembly, were approved by a Senate vote of 38-1 and a 63-6-2 tally in the Assembly.

Dennis Drazin said the bills, if signed by Gov. Chris Christie and despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s inaction late in June, would allow the Oceanport racetrack to have betting on sports other than horseracing as soon as September. Drazin, a Red Bank lawyer, is an advisor to the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and Darby Developers, LLC, the firm selected by the association to operate Monmouth Park.

Drazin previously noted that establishing a gaming venue for Monmouth Park was a vital component for the track’s long-term economic viability. He also stressed that it was an important economic engine for Oceanport and the region.

Christie, Drazin said, has supported the idea and long “aggressively pursued” sports betting in the state, spending roughly $3 million for a failed legal battle in 2012 to see the state legislation move forward.

The Governor’s Office said Tuesday that it was reviewing the legislation in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision declining to hear a sports betting case, Kevin Roberts, a Christie spokesman, said in an email.

Roberts was referring to the high court’s decision last week to not take on a federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision striking down a 2012 New Jersey law allowing wagering. That case, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al. v. Governor of the State of New Jersey, et al., pitted the major collegiate and all of the professional sports organizations, like Major League Baseball and the National Football League, against the state, arguing the state law violated the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. That law prohibits sports betting other than in Nevada, Oregon, Montana and Delaware.

Drazin said he and Lesniak have worked carefully drafting the legislation to meet federal requirements, as outlined in the Appellate Court’s decision.

“I think it’s beyond attack” from opponents, Drazin said.

Ironically, Drazin said the U.S. Supreme Court may have done the state a favor by not hearing arguments. Had the justices evaluated the merits of the case and ruled in favor of New Jersey, it would have been 2015 at the earliest before wagering would have become a reality, Drazin said.

“This could be a blessing in disguise,” he said.

“The reality is gambling in New Jersey and gambling nationwide has changed,” Oceanport Mayor Michael Mahon said. “The marketplace has changed. It’s no longer Atlantic City. It’s no longer Las Vegas. It is at racetracks and is a key feature of the economic viability of horseracing.”

Horse breeding has long been a staple for Monmouth County’s economy.

The Oceanport Borough Council adopted a resolution in support of the 2012 legislation, with the governing body seeing this legislation as “a natural extension of that support,” Mahon said.

Monmouth Park “has been a key to our development, our quality of life and our affordability,” Mahon said. The racetrack is the community’s largest employer and largest taxpayer, paying $2 million annually toward the borough’s total $6 million tax levy, according to the mayor.

Plans to expand the track to a 12-month destination with envisioned attractions will likely benefit the town and the area, he said.

According to Drazin, long-term plans include construction of a concert venue, a high-end restaurant and an IMAX movie theater and other features that would attract visitors all year round.

Construction of the track’s $10 million William Hill Race and Sports Bar was completed in time for the 2014 race season to accommodate sports betting, Drazin said.

 

 

 

By John Burton

OCEANPORT – Sports gambling could be coming to Monmouth Park as soon as late this summer – if Gov. Chris Christie signs off on it.

Despite some recent setbacks for those advocating for sports betting at the state’s casino and racetracks, a bill authored and sponsored by Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak, D-Union, and passed by large majorities in the Senate and Assembly on June 26 seems to pave the way for it in the coming months.

The bills, S2250 in the Senate and A3476 in the Assembly, were approved by a Senate vote of 38-1 and a 63-6-2 tally in the Assembly.

Dennis Drazin said the bills, if signed by Gov. Chris Christie and despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s inaction late in June, would allow the Oceanport racetrack to have betting on sports other than horseracing as soon as September. Drazin, a Red Bank lawyer, is an advisor to the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and Darby Developers, LLC, the firm selected by the association to operate Monmouth Park.

Drazin previously noted that establishing a gaming venue for Monmouth Park was a vital component for the track’s long-term economic viability. He also stressed that it was an important economic engine for Oceanport and the region.

Christie, Drazin said, has supported the idea and long “aggressively pursued” sports betting in the state, spending roughly $3 million for a failed legal battle in 2012 to see the state legislation move forward.

The Governor’s Office said Tuesday that it was reviewing the legislation in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision declining to hear a sports betting case, Kevin Roberts, a Christie spokesman, said in an email.

Roberts was referring to the high court’s decision last week to not take on a federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision striking down a 2012 New Jersey law allowing wagering. That case, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al. v. Governor of the State of New Jersey, et al., pitted the major collegiate and all of the professional sports organizations, like Major League Baseball and the National Football League, against the state, arguing the state law violated the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. That law prohibits sports betting other than in Nevada, Oregon, Montana and Delaware.

Drazin said he and Lesniak have worked carefully drafting the legislation to meet federal requirements, as outlined in the Appellate Court’s decision.

“I think it’s beyond attack” from opponents, Drazin said.

Ironically, Drazin said the U.S. Supreme Court may have done the state a favor by not hearing arguments. Had the justices evaluated the merits of the case and ruled in favor of New Jersey, it would have been 2015 at the earliest before wagering would have become a reality, Drazin said.

“This could be a blessing in disguise,” he said.

“The reality is gambling in New Jersey and gambling nationwide has changed,” Oceanport Mayor Michael Mahon said. “The marketplace has changed. It’s no longer Atlantic City. It’s no longer Las Vegas. It is at racetracks and is a key feature of the economic viability of horseracing.”

Horse breeding has long been a staple for Monmouth County’s economy.

The Oceanport Borough Council adopted a resolution in support of the 2012 legislation, with the governing body seeing this legislation as “a natural extension of that support,” Mahon said.

Monmouth Park “has been a key to our development, our quality of life and our affordability,” Mahon said. The racetrack is the community’s largest employer and largest taxpayer, paying $2 million annually toward the borough’s total $6 million tax levy, according to the mayor.

Plans to expand the track to a 12-month destination with envisioned attractions will likely benefit the town and the area, he said.

According to Drazin, long-term plans include construction of a concert venue, a high-end restaurant and an IMAX movie theater and other features that would attract visitors all year round.

Construction of the track’s $10 million William Hill Race and Sports Bar was completed in time for the 2014 race season to accommodate sports betting, Drazin said.

 

 

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