Codey Legislation To Assist Racetracks Clears Assembly Committee

Bill Allows Racetracks to Handle Greater Variety of Wagers

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Richard J. Codey (D-Essex) that will assist racetracks by allowing them to handle a greater variety of wagers was approved today by the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee.

“The racetrack industry is a vital part of the economic well being of New Jersey,” said Codey. “Allowing tracks to combine wagers into a larger pool is a responsible way to protect them from crippling loses due to large payouts and will help keep racetracks stable.”

The bill, S-2229, also sponsored by Senator Beck (R-Monmouth), would allow racetracks to combine all wagers placed on the results of one or more runnings or harness horse races into a single pari-mutuel pool. By creating larger pari-mutuel pools, racetracks can handle a greater variety of wagers and reduce the adverse effect of large pay-outs to the racetrack’s bottom line.

In addition, Codey is also sponsor of a bill, S-829, that would authorize the New Jersey Racing Commission to issue a license to the Sports and Exposition Authority to establish an exchange wagering system in New Jersey. Under the proposed system, which would allow New Jersey residents who are at least 18 years of age to open an account, bettors would be able to set up exchange wagering accounts, and two or more bettors would be able to place directly opposing wagers on the outcome of a horse race or races. The bill was approved by a vote of 34-1 in Senate on November 22nd and is expected to be considered by the Assembly.

“New Jersey cannot afford to lose the nearly $1 billion in economic activity and thousands of jobs and acres of open space the horse racing industry provides,” said Codey. “Exchange wagering and allowing tracks to combine wagers into a larger pool are simple measures that can boost the horse-racing industry and keep it vibrant in the state.

The legislation now moves to the full Assembly.

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