Tuesday October 14,2014 : WILL HILL READY FOR SPORTS BETTING IN NEW JERSEY
Joe Asher says Monmouth Park sports bar equipped and prepared.
Awaiting only a positive outcome from current litigation being waged between New Jersey and the national sports leagues that could see the introduction of sports betting to New Jersey , the US operations of Brit bookmaking giant William Hill plc are ready to go, according to manager for American operations Joe Asher.
Speaking to the Associated Press news agency last week, Asher revealed that his company's William Hill Sports and Race Bar premises at the Monmouth Park race track was "built out and ready to go" in what he described as a potentially large market.
The William Hill executive added that if sports betting is allowed in populous New Jersey it could dwarf the $3.6 billion that was wagered legally on sports last year in Nevada, opening up an entire new industry on the East Coast.
"I believe the New Jersey market once fully up and going would be at least three times the Nevada market," Asher said. "This is an area with some of the most storied franchises in American sports where billions of dollars are already bet on sports illegally."
The AP report notes that in 2011 New Jersey residents voted overwhelmingly to permit sports betting at race tracks and casinos, and that this was followed by a strong positive vote from the state legislature and a law signed off by governor Chris Christie.
That triggered a still active litigative conflict between state and the national sport leagues, backed by the US Department of Justice.
The news agency holds up the intense interest in fantasy sports wagering (exempt from most sports betting bans) as an example of how keen punters are to be allowed to place bets on sports.
The opposition of the National Football League to widened sports betting in America, where it is confined to just four states under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), is especially intriguing, because outside the US – specifically in Great Britain – the NFL holds games every year in London where sports betting is big business and plenty of action takes place.
At least one of the national sports leagues appears to be taking a more realistic stance; earlier this year NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told a business conference that he was not opposed to the idea of sports betting and expected his league would participate in the future