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Volume 25 No. 84
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Meadowlands Racetrack Will Bring Sports Betting Close To N.Y.

Meadowlands partnered with Betfair US to offer sports betting and eventually plans to add online wagering
Photo: DRF HARNESS

Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey "plans to bring legal sports betting to New York City's doorstep next month," according to Wayne Parry of the AP. Track Chair & CEO Jeff Gural said that he "plans to begin offering sports betting on July 15," which is "significantly earlier than a timetable the track laid out just over a week ago." The development came as New York "adjourned its legislative session Wednesday without adopting a sports betting bill." Gural predicted his track will "quickly become the state’s busiest sports betting outlet." Gural: "New York did me such a favor by not passing sports betting. That leaves me the entirety of New York City, Long Island, Westchester County. There are 15 million people that live within 20 miles of the Meadowlands. They gave me a tremendous gift.” Meadowlands has partnered with Betfair US to "offer sports betting at the track" and eventually "plans to offer online sports betting, but will only offer sports betting at the track in the early going" (AP, 6/21). In Syracuse, Nate Mink writes legislators not adopting a sports betting bill "counts as a missed opportunity" that leaves the state in a "vulnerable position." Barring a special session, state lawmakers can "revisit the sports betting bill when they reconvene" in January. For now, state gaming officials are "left to work" with a '13 law that "requires bettors to place wagers in person and does not include online or mobile betting." The law also "prohibits betting on games played by New York colleges." Another thorny issue is the '13 law "does not address sports betting at Indian nation casinos" (Syracuse POST-STANDARD, 6/22).

WRITING ON THE WALL: In Jackson, Bracey Harris notes the state Gaming Commission "approved final regulations for sports betting" at casinos. The new rule "takes effect in 30 days." Commission Exec Dir Allen Godfrey said that casinos are "already properly licensed to allow the game." He noted that some casinos are "still awaiting the commission’s approval for equipment, such as kiosks that will be used to run the bets." Wagers in Mississippi will be "limited to licensed casinos and must be placed onsite." In order to "place a bet online, players must open up a special account, and players must remain onsite at the casino or its hotel in order to place a wager" (Jackson CLARION-LEDGER, 6/22). Meanwhile, the NATIONAL FOOTBALL POST's Jill Dorson noted Rhode Island’s Senate Finance Committee has voted in favor of a "sweeping appropriations bill that ... calls for legal RI sports betting." It is "likely that the bill will pass the Senate with no problem." The bill "allows for sports betting at Rhode Island’s two casinos, Twin River and Tiverton, both tribal-owned gaming facilities." The Rhode Island bill does have a "few peculiarities -- in particular, it expressly forbids the payment of an 'integrity fee' or 'royalty,' which the professional leagues have been lobbying for; it calls for the cities of Lincoln and Tiverton, home of the two casinos, to be paid $100,000 per year for 'hosting' sports betting; and gaming operators will be responsible for paying for their own integrity monitoring" (NATIONALFOOTBALLPOST.com, 6/21).

READY FOR FOOTBALL? In West Virginia, Max Garland notes the state Lottery Commission has "set its rules for sports betting in the state, following an emergency meeting Thursday." West Virginia Lottery Dir Alan Larrick said that the commission "passed the sports betting rules ... to give the state’s five casinos plenty of time to familiarize themselves with the various regulations." Larrick: "We’re trying to do everything we can to get sports betting available by football season -- that’s what our goal is. We don’t know if we’re going to make it or not, but we’re going to try." Casinos have to "make sure off-site wagers are from people actually present in West Virginia at the time of the wager." The operator is "required to use geolocation technology 'to reasonably detect' the location of whoever is accessing sports betting online" (CHARLESTON GAZETTE-MAIL, 6/22).

NEXT IN LINE: The AP noted Iowa lottery officials are "looking at how they could offer sports betting" if state lawmakers "legalize it next year." The Iowa Lottery Board "discussed sports betting Wednesday at a meeting." Lawmakers "declined to approve a bill last session to allow sports betting at Iowa casinos, including online wagers" (AP, 6/21). Meanwhile, in Cincinnati, Nancy Daly notes a "bipartisan, nine-member panel has formed to draft and file legislation to implement legal sports betting in Kentucky." These legislative efforts in Kentucky will be "aimed toward professional sports, and possibly some limited instances of college sports." The legislative panel's efforts will be "focused on drafting a bill in order to have it ready to pass this next session, which begins in January and ends in April" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 6/22).

BUSINESS IS UP: The AP's Parry noted although revenue figures "won’t be released for a few weeks yet, Monmouth Park racetrack and Atlantic City’s The Borgata casino say they’re delighted with the extra business sports betting has generated in its first few days." William Hill U.S. CEO Joe Asher, who runs the sports book at Monmouth Park, said, "We’re really pleased with the early results, especially considering it’s a slow time on the sports betting calendar." Likewise, The Borgata is "seeing an uptick in business at its race book." Borgata PR Manager Liza Costandino: "The revenue was definitely beyond what it would have been." Sports betting is bringing "new demographics into what was traditionally an older, male clientele at The Borgata’s horse racing betting operation." Younger customers are "stopping in to bet on sports, including more women." Costandino said, "A full bachelorette party came in and they all made sports bets" (AP, 6/20).