Jersey Begins Regulatory Process for Expanded Wagering

At its monthly meeting at Meadowlands Wednesday, the New Jersey Racing Commission said it is prepared to advertise regulations regarding account and off-track wagering, the first step toward implementation since legislation was signed into law in August.

Mike Vukcevich, deputy director of the racing commission, said those regulations will be filed by the commission by Oct. 18 to appear in the N.J. Register, a legislative publication, and then the public will have 60 days to file comments. If the regulations are adopted by the commission, they will be published again, and the state attorney general's office must give its approval.

The timetable for having a telephone wagering system up and running is Feb. 5, 2002. Off-track betting sites cannot be constructed until public hearings are held in the muncipalities where they are intended to be built, and the first are not expected to open until late 2003.

The license for New Jersey's account wagering system is held by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, but Vukcevich said the NJSEA must enter into a "participation agreement" with Pennwood Racing, the other licensee in the state. The agreement must specify who will run the system -- that's expected to be Pennwood -- and how the profits are divided.