The Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Assembly unanimously passed Bill A4909, introduced by Assemblymen Ronald Dancer (R-District 12) and Ralph Caputo (D-District 28).
S3090, an identical bill sponsored by Senators Vin Gopal (D-11th District), Paul Sarlo (D-36th District), Steven Oroho (R-24th District) and Declan O’Scanlon Jr. (R-13th District), unanimously passed Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee.
The bills would next go to the Senate and General Assembly for a floor vote.
The legislation would allow bettors at New Jersey racetracks to place fixed-odds wagers on horse races, upending the United States’ tradition of pari-mutuel wagering on horses.
When a customer places a bet under fixed-odds wagering, they are locked in to that price, whereas parti-mutuel wagering allows for fluctuation of odds up until the start of a race.
Pari-mutuel wagering often leads to bettors receiving worse odds than when they placed their bet, depending on where the late money for a race is heading.
Fixed-odds is used for American sports betting but the US horse racing industry has generally shunned it in favor of pari-mutuel wagering. Fixed-odds wagering on horse races is common in Australia, New Zealand, Germany and England among other countries.
Last November the New Jersey Racing Commission approved a fixed-odds pilot program for 2021 out-of-state Grade I races.