New Jersey track extends date for sports betting

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey racetrack that initially wanted to let people wager on sporting events as soon as this weekend is now giving itself more time.

Dennis Drazin, a legal adviser to Monmouth Park, said Wednesday that the track's plan is to open a sports book in 45 days, or roughly by the last weekend of October. On Tuesday, Drazin had said he was hoping to get a sports book open by this Sunday, less than a week after the state government announced that such enterprises would no longer be illegal in New Jersey.

The extension should give a judge time to rule on the legality of a directive issued Monday by the Christie administration that allowed racetracks or casinos to accept sports wagers. A federal judge is expected to rule on the matter Oct. 6.

Drazin also said it will take time to set up phone lines and Internet connections for the operation and to hire 111 new employees. He said Monmouth Park would establish its own private association to regulate sports betting — something the state is not doing.

Drazin said other casinos or racetracks would be welcome to join the group. But so far, he said, they're waiting to see how sports betting works at his track.

Drazin said he would prefer not to wait.

"If it were strictly up to me," he said, "I would start taking bets as soon as possible."

A spokeswoman for the Meadowlands Racetrack said Wednesday the track isn't planning on offering betting on sports for now, and didn't offer a timeline.

"We have a good relationship with the sports teams," said Rachel Ryan, a spokeswoman for the track, referring to the New York Giants and New York Jets, who play at adjacent MetLife Stadium.