WAGNER, COUGHLIN & BURZICHELLI BILL TO AUTHORIZE EXCHANGE WAGERING ON HORSE RACES OK’D BY ASSEMBLY; SET FOR MORE CONSIDERATION

(TRENTON) — Legislation Assemblywoman Connie Wagner, Assemblyman Craig J. Coughlin and Assemblyman John Burzichelli sponsored to authorize exchange wagering on results of in-state and out-of-state horse races was recently approved by the Assembly and is set for more consideration.

The bill was approved 78-0 by the Assembly and is set for Thursday consideration by the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee.

“Expanding wagering options can only help boost our horse racing industry and tracks and ensure New Jersey stays a step ahead of the rest of the nation when it comes to innovative approaches,” said Wagner (D-Bergen). “This is a step forward for New Jersey horse racing.”

“This bill will ensure this new option for horse wagering in our state is properly regulated and safeguarded,” said Coughlin (D-Middlesex). “It’s an exciting new option that will keep New Jersey ahead of the pack.”

“This is just another way to help our horse racing industry,” said Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem), who recently authored a law aimed at decreasing New Jersey’s horse racing events but increasing purses at those races. “This is simply another option and another way to build interest in the races, which can only help the industry as we move forward with a more modern racing model for our state.”

Exchange wagering is defined as a form of betting in which two or more persons place directly opposing wagers on the outcome of a horse race.

Exchange wagering allows a bettor to wager on a selected outcome occurring, and another bettor to wager on that same outcome not occurring.

Those identically opposing wagers are matched when a bettor lays a selected outcome at the same price at which another bettor backs that same outcome, with the total amount subject to the lay being wholly commensurate to the total amount subject to the back.

Under the bill (A-2926), once the outcome of the race is determined, funds would be transferred from the exchange wagering account of the bettor who lost the wager to that of the bettor who won the wager, and applicable transaction or other fees would be levied by the exchange wagering licensee for use and distribution as provided by the commission’s rules and regulations.

For example, if the bill became law, people would be able to place bets not only on what horses might win the race, but on which ones may lose.

The bill would authorize the New Jersey Racing Commission to issue a license to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority to establish an exchange wagering system. The issuance of the license is subject to the approval of the New Jersey Attorney General.

The bill also prescribes certain conditions for the establishment of the exchange wagering system, including, but not limited to, the requirement for:

  • An exchange wagering account holder to be at least 18 years of age, and a resident of this state or of another United States jurisdiction within which the placement of wagers on the results of horse races would not be considered unlawful under the laws of that jurisdiction and federal law;
  • Necessary documentation to be submitted by an applicant for an exchange wagering account in order to open the account and place wagers through the exchange wagering system;
  • The types of credits and debits that may be made to an exchange wagering account by the authority and the account holder; and
  • The manner in which wagers may be placed, in person, by direct telephone call, or by communication through other electronic media, as may be lawful under federal law and the laws of the account holder’s jurisdiction.

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