Buono Bill Advances to Upgrade Horse Wagering

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Barbara Buono to modernize New Jersey horse racing rules to make the industry competitive with other states was approved today by a Senate committee.

“Our goal with this bill is to ensure that the New Jersey horse racing industry is competitive with neighboring states and compatible with modern technology,” said Senator Buono, Chair of the Senate Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee.

The panel released the Buono bill, S-2763, which is designed to facilitate off-track betting, simulcasting and account wagering. It now awaits action by the full Senate.

Specifically, the bill would:

– Allow for wagering on future race dates, a popular alternative in some states to returning bet money when a horse “scratches,” or does not run in a race.

– Lower minimum wagers to facilitate exchange rate issues brought about by international betting and betting over the Internet.

– Impose a three-year time limit for cashing in winning tickets after which the uncashed vouchers would be split with half going to the track and the other half going toward future purses.

– Allow bets on simulcasted races without requiring tracks to be open and displaying live video of the races.

– Empower those who lose their winning ticket stubs to collect on their bets because advances in technology can often identify winning bettors.

– Authorize non-residents to open wagering accounts provided they are physically in the State at the time of placing bets.

“Horse racing is an exciting industry which requires constant renewal to keep pace with competitive enhancements elsewhere, not to mention the competition from casino gambling in Atlantic City,” said Senator Buono.

“Fortunately, there is a growing recognition of the need to enhance all aspects of our gaming industry in New Jersey,” Senator Buono added.

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