After many hurdles and almost two years since New Jersey ushered in sports betting, Freehold Raceway is about to launch sports betting. According to a statement released from the racetrack on Wednesday, they are about to have their own sportsbook.
This was made possible because of a vote on Monday evening. On Monday evening in the Garden State, the Freehold Borough Council voted unanimously to allow the horse track to have a sports betting license from the ‘New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
This is a huge step for the oldest horse race track in the United States. The Freehold Raceway was opened in the 1830s and is about 45 miles from New York City. The horse track has gone through several owners in the last almost 200 years. It’s currently owned by giant gaming company Penn National Gaming. There are two other partners in the track,
The Owners Of The Race Track Laid Out Their Sports Betting Plans To The Council
Pennwood Racing and Greenwood Racing. The three partners presented their basic plans for sports betting at the track at the Freehold Borough Council meeting. The sportsbook would be located in the current grandstand according to the presentation that was made to the council.
Steve Gallo, is the administrator of the Freehold Borough Council, according to Gallo, the track offered a very preliminary report.
Gallo said the owners plan to do some minimal construction at the track to accommodate the sportsbook. Gallo said that they aren’t doing anything new, just modifying existing structures.
According to Gallo the track will not have to apply for a new land use application. This is the first step in getting their sports betting license, and a source revealed that the sportsbook would be up and running before the end of March.
New Jersey Leads The Country When It Comes To Sports Betting
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy placed the first legal sports bet on June 14, 2018. Since the state has been leading the country in sports betting revenue, even surpassing Nevada. New Jersey residents and visitors placed a half billion dollars in sports betting in January 2020 alone. The two other racetracks in the state Meadowlands and Monmouth Park, have made over $250 million in profits, most of it made at Meadowlands.
The industry is taxed 1.25%, with some of it going to the municipality and some to the county. The gross revenue of sports betting for 2019 was close to $300 million. The original sponsor and author of the sports betting is Senator Vin Gopal.
He said he’s very glad to see sports betting coming to Freehold, ‘a cherished racetrack in New Jersey, and part of a rich history’ the senator said. Gopal said, a sports betting license is not something just anyone can have. He said Freehold having the sports betting license is good for the state and the local economy.