Edited press release
New Jersey racing officials expect account-wagering handle to top $35 million this year in its first full year of operation.
Internet betting in the Garden State commenced Oct. 28, 2004, the week of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. Automated telephone betting began May 3, the week of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
The New Jersey Account Wagering system is operated by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which operates Meadowlands and Monmouth Park, and Pennwood Racing, which operates Freehold Raceway.
"Technically, everything is running smoothly," NJSEA senior vice president Dennis Dowd said in a release. "We've already exceeded 3,000 accounts, and we're projecting a handle of more than $35 million for 2005, which is 20% beyond our expectations."
The system is available only to New Jersey residents 18 and older. Wagering is offered on New Jersey racing as well as incoming signals. The Internet service (www.4njbets.com) offers live streaming video for nearly all tracks, while the phone system features current day scratches and changes.
"We have done a lot of internal marketing to our core customers, and the response has been very positive," Dowd said. "The Internet wagering has gone smoothly, and we have been able to gain valuable experience in building our business office. We now will be making a much stronger push for customers and in broadening the awareness that this opportunity exists for New Jersey residents to wager off track."
A single account can be used to bet online, by phone, and at self-service terminals at New Jersey racetracks. Meadowlands and Freehold are open for live harness racing, while Monmouth begins its Thoroughbred meet May 14.