The betting exchange peer-to-peer business model, pioneered in the UK years ago by online gambling giant Betfair, could find new application in the state of New Jersey, reports the Thoroughbred Times.
The New Jersey General Assembly this week unanimously approved a bill that would allow this form of betting, which could open up new revenues for the struggling horse racing industry in the state. Online wagering on horse races enjoys a legislative exemption from the Wire Act and the UIGEA, positioning it strongly to exploit a betting exchange model to the full.
The bill calls for the New Jersey Racing Commission to oversee and regulate exchange wagering, which will be initially restricted to one licensee, and following its approval in the Assembly is now on its way to the New Jersey state Senate’s Wagering, Tourism, and Historic Preservation Committee.
If exchange wagering is approved, only New Jersey residents would be allowed to participate, reports the Thoroughbred Times. Under the current bill, those residents would be allowed to wager on in-state or out-of-state racing.
With casino and pari-mutuel wagering slumping in the state, the bill aims to promote horse racing in New Jersey by adding the new form of wagering.
The betting form typically relies on advanced real-time technology offered on Internet sites, but the bill has provisions that permit gamblers to bet on the exchange in person or by phone. The intent of the bill is to generate cash for state tracks and horse owners, and proposes an arrangement whereby the first licence would come up for review in 2014, at which time interested parties could propose changes.
Betfair, which has acquired extensive interests in US racing through its $50 million TVG deal, could be a front-runner for any licence due to its advanced technology and wide experience in this type of business model.