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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Free New Jersey Horseplayers from NJAW

I realize the chances of New Jersey allowing another ADW to operate in the state is slim, especially since the leases of the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park were based on revenue projections from NJAW.  This does not change the fact NJAW is operated by incompetent people and it is time to allow other ADWs in the state.  Perhaps with competition, NJAW will decide to provide their customers with good service.

What transpired today?  If you lived in New Jersey and you wanted to bet the second heat of the Kentucky Futurity Filly or the Kentucky Futurity, you were SOL.  It seems NJAW is unable or unwilling to handle multiple heats as they didn't update the system to put the second heat information into their system.  So if you had the $419.80 trifecta selected in the filly stake, or the $436.80   trifecta selected in the Futurity but were unable to wager (at least according to New Jersey law), tough luck.

I understand harness fans are a minority in the ADW world, but you would think after numerous years of having to handle multiple heat races, though they don't occur often, a competent ADW would have this figured out (this is not the first time they had a problem with multiple heats).  After all, it is not rocket science.

But it isn't just the incompetence of NJAW and/or the vendor who operates the wagering platform for them when it comes to multiple heat events, it is the lack of rebates New Jersey horseplayers have to deal with while those who have accounts outside of the state are able to avail themselves of it.  The New Jersey law regulating ADWs is anti-competitive and protectionist and even worse, it forces serious horseplayers (that's not me) who live in New Jersey to consider violating New Jersey law by wagering illegally through other ADWs not authorized to operate in the state. 

What can New Jersey horseplayers do legally?  Lobby your state legislators and ask them to open up the ADW market in New Jersey.  In the meanwhile, being NJAW and their operator of the wagering platform are licensed by the New Jersey Racing Commission, you may send a complaint to the NJRC (click on email if you want to send it online) letting them know of your displeasure and ask them to protect the interests of the New Jersey horseplayer by investigating why multi-horse events can't be handled competently by NJAW but can be by other ADWs and ask them to consider sanctions against NJAW and or/their service provider as appropriate if they can't get their act together.  


Scott Jeffreys said...

Dear Pacingguy : There must be something in the water recently because this is another column of shouting against the wind without any real purpose in mind.

Anyone who believes the call-to-arms over New Jersey Account Wagering will come to a head over the lack of coverage of the second heat of a multiple heat harness championship needs to go back to the drawing board to understand why the account wagering system started in the first place. Go ahead, we'll wait.

Let me offer this challenge : how many races in total are covered by NJAW during the year? What percentage of that total is harness racing? Now, from that total, how many second/multi-heat races are covered? If you can put the number of multiheat races into double figures, you would be pressing the truth.

Explain why a second ADW with additional management oversight is required in New Jersey?

Is this just a matter of offering Twin Spires or TVG into the local New Jersey market? What would be better or different?

Sincerely, Scott

Pacingguy said...


No, this situation alone will not cause a change with respect to a new ADW being able to come in compete; that is a political issue in New Jersey. That being said, while the chances for change are minimal, not trying means there is no chance.

If this was the first time NJAW screwed up, I wouldn't be saying anything. This problem occurs almost every year with the LBJ and the Futurity. This is not rocket science.

Yes, betting volume on harness racing is low, but that doesn't stop other ADWs from being able to handle this. Should we just excuse NJAW from providing good service?

Introducing a second ADW in the state would not require additional management oversight, they would operate independent of NJAW; they would be competitors. NJAW is NJ track operated. Hence, the ban on other ADWs coming in, they would have to compete instead of enjoying the benefits of a monopoly. If another ADW(s) was allowed, NJAW would have to compete with respect to service and pricing (rebates). I realize this goes against the tracks' interests. The Red Mile operates their own ADW and they offer rebates. Why, the other ADWs are allowed to operate in the state.

Also, NJAW has a third party operating their ADW system. There is nothing to keep NJAW from contracting their wagering platform out to a Twin Spires or TVG as Harrah's does. Maybe then, customers wold do better.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for bringing NJAW incompetence up for discussion. I am stuck with this inferior offering, For someone to defend it boggles my mind. While the issue of heat wagering may not be an everyday occurrence, it is a sign of the systemic lack of functionality of the system and its employees. Let me bring up for discussion the surcharge to fund accounts amounting to about 3.5% even with a debit (not credit) card. Further, for an internet based offering to not be able to fund online is insane. You must call and often wait for a single operator to process the funding request. This causes significant delays during busy days. Additionally, since the funding processing must be staffed they close at 10pm eastern time. If you want to fund for a west coast track, too bad. How about a change of address or funding card? Sorry, can't do that online. You have to fax or mail a form to them and hope they process it correctly. There is a 30 second delay for the video shown on the system. If you wait until they are behind the gate or loading, too bad. If you have taxable winners no form available online. Wait for the mail and hope it comes. No video from Saratoga/Bel/Aqu because they can't work a deal. Video has improved recently but is still subpar. Want multiple feeds?, too bad. To search for a previous race replay is a painful experience. As noted, the lack of any rewards for online betting is inexcusable. I am sure more deficiencies will come to me soon. Rant off for now.

JLB said...

I have to agree with Scott that the issue of second heat wagering is an extremely low priority. There are many ADW's which do not offer this, either. Frankly, it can be confusing enough for novices at the track to follow and record the post position draw and assignment of head numbers for final heats. To expect this process to occur at all, off-track, is a stretch.

Anonymous said...

I am 100% behind the original post. The fact that there are no rebates offered, not even the bigm club, coupled with never being able to bet the heat racing is a big time annoyance. I will say they upgraded the video recently to a much higher quality stream and the people I call to make deposits are very efficient. However, the website has 90's technology and there are no incentives to gamble online - unlike basically every other service. If I could bet with TwinSpires or TVG, I'd definitely bet more $$$.

affirmedny said...

I'm having an issue with them right now. Retama Park offers 10 cent trifectas(yes trifectas) and I've been playing them for years on NJBETS. I like to play around with wheel bets and I've had some success, hitting one for over 600 bucks. This year when I try to place a bet I get a message "not a 50 cent bet". I emailed and called and sent them screen shots and while they admit it's a problem they can't fix it. They don't know diddly about gambling which is their main problem in my opinion.

Pacingguy said...

Political appointees held over.