Legislation authorizing exchange wagering and single pari-mutuel pools in New Jersey was signed into law Monday by Gov. Chris Christie. The legislation is expected to give the state's horse racing industry a shot in the arm.
The law authorizes the New Jersey Racing Commission to issue a license to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority to establish an exchange wagering system. The issuance of the license is subject to the approval of the New Jersey Attorney General. The only other state to offer exchange wagering, in which bettors wager against each other, is California.
"We are providing new tools to help the industry implement new strategies, generate additional revenue and capitalize on interest in horse racing around the state," said Gov. Christie. “Along with our ongoing efforts to transform racing at the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park through private management, these measures will place horse racing on a path to economic stability and sustainability without public subsidy that New Jersey taxpayers can simply no longer afford."
Although he signed the two bills, Christie conditionally vetoed a bill that would revamp off-track betting operations. Christie said that although he supports the concept, he would like greater flexibility in determining future locations of new parlors. He also wants to eliminate the fee of one percent the parlors pay to the local governments.
"It's vital to get every detail correct as we revamp our state's horse racing industry and position it for success as a self-sustaining part of our economy,” Assemblyman Ronald S. Dancer said of the conditional veto. “The governor's recommendations will ensure that our efforts to expand off-track wagering don't interfere with the progress we've made transitioning the Meadowlands from public to private operation and weaning the industry off taxpayer support. I welcome the governor's input and I am confident that all of the Legislators on both sides of the aisle who initially voted for this bill will also support these improvements."
Also, Christie has said he plans on signing bills that would help the Atlantic City casinos, which includes creating a state-supervised tourism district and a multi-million dollar industry-funded marketing campaign. He also plans to sign a bill that would relieve the 11 casinos of some regulations.