It could be off to the races at some N.J. restaurants

New Jersey lawmakers are considering a measure that would allow wagers on horse races at some bars and restaurants.

The legislation calls for one of the four unused off-track wagering licenses in New Jersey to be used for a three-year pilot program.

Assemblyman John Burzichelli said a total of 20 betting terminals would be placed at up to a dozen bars and restaurants.

“Whether it’s having dinner, whether it’s simply having a drink, listening to music, whatever the circumstances in a sports bar, restaurant-type setting, it will be easier for them to wager on a race,” he said. “So we think it will help introduce this exciting race product to a new audience.”

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Burzichelli is not sure just how much revenue the extra betting sites would generate. If the program is successful, he said it could be expanded to other locations.

“Doing it as a pilot, being very closely monitored for the first three years, will let us know if this is an approach that, first of all, that people want to do and, second of all, that it can happen in a way that’s comfortable,” he said.

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