Two bills sponsored by Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) that would help New Jersey’s horseracing industry were unanimously passed today by the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee.
“Horseracing is a vibrant, vital component of New Jersey life and culture,” Beck stated. “The horse racing industry provides thousands of jobs, contributes over one billion dollars a year to our state’s economy and keeps about one-fifth of the state’s total acreage in agriculture. The two bills passed today address the long-term future of the horse racing industry by encouraging it to expand and move forward.”
The first bill (S-829) would allow New Jersey to be the first state in the country to offer “exchange wagering” on the results of horse races. Exchange wagering is a form of wagering in which two or more persons place directly opposing wagers on the outcome of a horse race or races.
The second bill (S-1980) amends New Jersey’s “Off-Track and Account Wagering Act,” to facilitate the establishment of off-track wagering facilities in the State. Currently, only three of the State’s 15 off-track wagering licenses are being used.
“Being a leader in different gaming options and offering additional off-track wagering facilities are two viable solutions that would increase revenue to support New Jersey’s racing industry,” Beck continued. “I am confident horseracing can thrive in New Jersey and continue to be a staple of our tourism industry.”
Beck has been a strong voice in the Legislature for the horseracing industry. The Senator has put forth a number of proposals to grow the sport and hosted a bipartisan Equine Symposium in September. In July, a bill sponsored by Senator Beck was signed into law that decreased the number of annual race dates at both the Meadowlands Racetrack and Freehold Raceway, thus increasing the amount that can be offered in their purses.