In New Jersey, state residents who chose to legally wager through an ADW have only one option, New Jersey Account Wagering (NJAW). No doubt this restriction was put in place when the NJSEA operated the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park; it provided the authority with a significant amount of revenue. Of course, that is what happens when you have a captive audience.
As an ADW, NJAW is basically vanilla ice cream. With a few exceptions, you get to watch and wager on the races available at Freehold Raceway, Meadowlands, and Monmouth Park. Rebates to the general public are non-existent; it takes about a week or so for deposits made through electronic funds transfer to be credited to your account; non-technical customer service representatives shall we say, often lacked initiative. The one good thing about NJAW is there is no account charge to have an account. Let's face it, people outside of New Jersey are probably chuckling reading this and dare I say many large gamblers in New Jersey have found their way around New Jersey law to open ADW accounts elsewhere, whether in another state or offshore.
It may sound counter intuitive, but it is time to free New Jersey horseplayers from this protectionist law and allow New Jersey residents to open accounts with any ADW approved by the NJRC and watch profits increase. NJAW owned by the New Meadowlands Racing LLC and the NJTHA should join the rest of the ADWs and go national and update their business model by offering rebates like other ADWs.
That is right, NJAW should be forced to compete against the other ADWs like everyone else. Contrary to what some may think, New Jersey racetracks would profit by opening the market. A couple of things are likely to happen. First of all, if NJAW was forced to compete with other ADWs, it is more likely the amount of money wagered by New Jersey residents would go up as they would have rebates to churn through the wagering pools and gamblers who have been forced to wager illegally (other ADWs or offshore) will be able to bring their wagering back to the NJAW platform.
As for those gamblers who may chose to wager through other ADWs such as TVG, TwinSpires, etc., it will still bring wagering back from offshore wagering sites and allow these customers to wager more than they currently are wagering, meaning more money wagered on New Jersey tracks. By opening NJAW to others in the United States and competing for business, additional money would be wagered through NJAW thus benefiting New Jersey racetracks who would be the ultimate beneficiary of the ADW share of handle wagered on out of state races; especially when the money is split between horsemen and management in New Jersey instead of an ADW based in another state.
Protectionist legislation in New Jersey with regards to ADWs actually is costing the racing industry. Competition and responding to market demand will increase wagering handle and profits. Free New Jersey horseplayers now.
The Raceway at Western Fair District debuts their own television show "In the District" today on their local cable system. I find it funny that smaller racetracks have their own shows on television while the bigger tracks don't. A track like the Meadowlands may have their replay show with some features on Saturday night, but result shows will not attract new customers.