The sports betting company William Hill has teamed with Monmouth Park in a long-term agreement to become the Oceanport, N.J. racetrack's exclusive sports betting provider.
Under the agreement, William Hill also becomes title sponsor of the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I). The race, which will be run July 28, will be called the William Hill Haskell Invitational.
Should sports betting become legal under federal law, William Hill will develop a full Las Vegas-style sports book at the historic racetrack, subject to the approval of New Jersey gaming regulatory authorities.
New Jersey enacted a law legalizing sports betting last year following a voter referendum that passed by a 2-1 margin. The major professional sports leagues and the NCAA have sued to stop New Jersey's plans, claiming they would violate federal law. In February, a federal judge ruled in favor of the leagues and NCAA. New Jersey has filed an appeal and oral argument in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled for June 26.
"One day sports betting will be legal in New Jersey. When it is, William Hill will be there," said William Hill CEO Joe Asher in a release. "In the meantime, we are really excited to sponsor the William Hill Haskell Invitational, one of the America's great races for 3-year-olds at one of America's great racetracks."
"We have carefully evaluated which sports betting company would put us in the best position to succeed and we decided to partner with a world leader," said Dennis Drazin, advisor to Monmouth Park operators New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and Darby Development. "We are thrilled to announce this partnership for sports betting at Monmouth Park and happy to have William Hill as the proud sponsor of the William Hill Haskell Invitational."
Monmouth Park's 2013 racing season begins Saturday, May 11 and runs through Oct. 6.