Shore racetrack to take bets ‘as soon as possible’ following U.S. Supreme Court decision

Photo: Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

Photo: Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

A landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court on Monday will have a major impact on a Jersey Shore racetrack.

The Supreme Court struck down a federal law that bars gambling on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states, giving states the go-ahead to legalize betting on sports.

In response, a spokesperson for Monmouth Park said the Oceanport facility is planning to start taking bets “as soon as possible.”

The Monmouth County racetrack has already established a sports betting facility and envisions wagering via kiosks, websites and mobile apps.

Dennis Drazin is chairman and CEO of Darby Development LLC, which operates the track. He says the ruling could help the state’s struggling horse racing industry.

The highest court in the land struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection, a 1992 law that state-authorized sports gambling with some exceptions. It made Nevada the only state where a person could wager on the results of a single game.

The court’s decision came in a case from New Jersey, which has fought for years to legalize gambling on sports at casinos and racetracks in the state.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and former governor Chris Christie are praising the Supreme Court’s ruling clearing the way for sports betting.

Murphy, a Democrat, says he’s thrilled and credited the court victory to his predecessor, Chris Christie, a Republican.

In a prepared statement, Murphy said he will work with the state legislature to “enact a law authorizing and regulating sports betting in the very near future.”

“New Jersey has long been the lead advocate in fighting this inherently unequal law, and today’s ruling will finally allow for authorized facilities in New Jersey to take the same bets that are legal in other states in our country,” he added.

Deputy Assembly Speaker John Burzichelli said it will probably be several weeks before a revised bill is enacted.

In a tweet, Christie called it a “great day for the rights of states and their people to make their own decisions,” adding that he’s “proud to have fought for the rights of the people of NJ.”

In recent years Monmouth Park has diversified its offerings.

The facility hosted the Vans Warped Tour, a touring music and extreme sports festival, in 2010 and 2011. In 2013, it opened the Bluegrass Mini Golf facility near the park entrance.

In 2016, the Blu Grotto restaurant opened on the property. And the facility has hosted a food truck festival during recent summers.


The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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