Fixed Odds On Horse Racing To Expand In New Jersey

Updated: 60 Sport

John Brennan explains New Jersey's commitment to Fixed Odds Horse Racing and why that's such a rare occurrence in the sport.

Fixed Odds On Horse Racing To Expand In New Jersey
John Brennan US Gambling News Editor

John is our gambling industry expert for New Jersey bringing the breaking news in all things NJ online gaming

  • New Jersey state regulators have greenlit BetMakers to launch MonmouthBets, providing gamblers across New Jersey access to fixed odds horse racing.
  • FanDuel has announced a “merged wallet” feature in nine states that allow gamblers to toggle between sports betting and horse racing.
  • Industry analysts believe that fixed odds horse racing could explode in the US in the coming years.

Monmouth Park currently stands alone as the only U.S. racetrack currently offering fixed odds wagering. This variety of horse betting is already a gambling staple on horse races in the United Kingdom and Australia.

And as fixed odds enters its second year, there have been new developments. New Jersey state regulators just approved BetMakers to launch its horse race betting app MonmouthBets so gamblers across New Jersey can try fixed odds - which has the motto "The price you bet, is the price you get."

That motto is already true of most other forms of sports betting, of course. But under the traditional parimutuel system in horse racing, the odds constantly change depending on betting patterns right up until the gate opens - and even a few seconds after that, as last-minute bets are accounted for.

While that can, in some cases, mean you wind up with a winning ticket that is worth more than you expected, it's just human nature for racing fans to remember more vividly that 10-to-1 price they eagerly selected - only to cashing out at 5-to-1 thanks to heavy betting on that horse just before the race.

Monmouth Park operator Dennis Drazin said that there is another reason that fixed odds for horse racing is necessary. In December, sports betting and daily fantasy sports giant FanDuel announced a “merged wallet” feature coming in nine states that allow gamblers to toggle easily from sports betting to horse racing. Fixed odds would make that a much smoother process.

“I believe that the future of gaming in the U.S. is an ability to wager 24-7 on sporting events and horse racing,” said Drazin, referring to the worldwide availability of races taking place across the globe in numerous time zones. “That will translate to high purses, more days for racing, and more opportunities for breeders.”

Expanding Beyond Monmouth Park In 2023

This year, the app will provide bettors the opportunity to wager on six foreign racetrack cards and six more in North America - Tampa Bay Downs, Canterbury Park, Delaware Park, Hawthorne Race Course, Emerald Downs, and Century Mile. The brief "Monmouth-at-Meadowlands Meet" in September will also feature fixed odds on the thoroughbred races at that site, and more tracks – possibly including several in New York – could be added during the Monmouth summer meet season.

A survey commissioned by BetMakers showed 83% of U.S. horse-players polled said they would like to have a fixed odds option alongside independent parimutuel odds. The survey also showed two-thirds of American sports bettors said they would be more likely to add horse racing to their wagering portfolio if fixed odds were available.

Drazin said that in about 70 percent of races, the fixed odds numbers proved to be more favorable for bettors than the pari-mutuel numbers. 

As for whether fixed odds will arrive soon in other states, Drazin said the Standardbred industry generally has been more fearful than his thoroughbred colleagues about potential cannibalization of pari-mutuel pools – where the track gets a standard “takeout” from the amount wagered.

Numerous officials from racetracks across the U.S., Drazin said, have contacted him with questions about the details of fixed odds wagering – an important first step, Drazin said.

The 78th season of racing at Monmouth Park begins on May 13 and will be highlighted as always by the Haskell Stakes, sponsored by, on Saturday, July 22. General admission is $6 (free for age 12 and under) and parking is free.

Drazin added that while the track already has a sportsbook that previously had been run by the U.S. branch of the William Hill British bookmaking company, the Caesars purchase of that company will lead by the end of this summer to a groundbreaking for a new sportsbook near the valet parking area.

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