Well, today is the day. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will make a decision on A2578 (the online gaming bill) as today is the last day he may act on it. If the bill isn't vetoed and the law survives the anticipated court challenges, it will hurt racing as gamblers will have another option for their gambling dollars. If the Governor vetoes the bill and cites his constitutional concerns and Atlantic Casinos really want to have Internet gaming, any referendum to allow Internet gaming in Atlantic City most certainly will include a provision for a casino in the Meadowlands.
A decision by the Governor should come no later than 5pm this afternoon. At this point, I have no idea which way the Governor will go on this bill as he certainly has been under heavy pressure to sign the legislation..
The first major winter storm of the year will be hitting the Northeast and I expect it will wreck havoc with the schedules at the Meadowlands and Yonkers Raceway this weekend. The Thursday night cards should go on as scheduled but at this juncture, it looks like Friday's cards will be in jeopardy based on the current forecasts. Saturday night racing looks possible assuming the storm departs on schedule. I would anticipate Freehold Raceway being able to race its cards this weekend.
Update: Monticello Raceway has already announced its cancellation of their Friday afternoon card.
Yonkers Raceway has booted TVG as their ADW provider, switching over to eBets Technologies after being given approval by the NYSRWB. As a result of that decision racing fans who have been used to seeing Yonkers Raceway on TVG on Mondays and Tuesday nights will no longer be seeing those races on television. With the savings from the new deal it is possible rebates may be offered to players using the new Yonkers ADW once it is up and operational.
While I have no opinion on Yonkers dumping TVG for eBets, I must applaud Yonkers management for negotiating a deal with the ADW which alllows for the potential of rebates. While the money being earned by the tracks and horsemen is not the same as if bet on track, you do better if you have your own ADW, even if you partner with someone to operate it. But to maximize your profits through your own ADW, you must offer rebates in order to compete against those ADWs you have no financial interest in. Now that Yonkers has changed ADW operators, they must quickly implement a rebate system for their customers.
In the article concerning Yonkers changing ADW providers, SOA of NY President Joe Faraldo has voiced his opposition to Exchange Wagering. While Faraldo is not alone in his suspicions concerning Exchange wagering, it is my opinion that exchange wagering is a way to increase interest in wagering amongst younger gamblers. Yes, there will be those who will be betting for horses to lose but there is plenty of incidences where those who have a direct interest in a horse who wagered for their horse to lose have been caught and punished, something much easier to do than if they bet against their horse in the regular pari-mutuels. It should also be noted exchange wagering only involves a substitute for win wagering; a gambler wishing to play exotics still have to play in traditional pools.
I understand the concerns people have about receiving less money per wager for their purse accounts but once Cal Expo begins participating in exchange wagering later this year, it is likely these detractors will see wagering volume make up for the low commissions they receive for exchange wagering bets.