The Atlantic City Race Course of New Jersey held its last horse race in 2015. Since then, the property has been vacant and is being considered for a redevelopment plan. But could there be a way to revive the old horse racing glory days via sports betting?
What’s happening at the Race Course?
After the property held its final race in 2015, it was considered for a redevelopment project for the Hamilton Township. Greenwood ACRA owns the property and recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the township to create a plan for development.
One option that the property can consider is the addition of sports betting. The laws of the state could be helpful in achieving this goal. For instance, state laws require a racetrack like Atlantic City to be connected to a nearby casino like Monmouth Park or Meadowlands. Even properties that formally functioned as racetracks are allowed to apply for sports betting licenses.
The only condition is that the track must have held a race within 15 years of passing the sports betting law. Since Atlantic City Race Course fulfills this condition, it could have a bright sports wagering future. They can build a sports wagering facility at the track and become the only licensee in the state to offer sports wagering exclusively.
Could this be a good idea?
The revenue earned from sports betting may not be enough to sustain the property. The New Jersey sports betting market is barely 18 months old, but it has shown steady progress during its short lifespan. With the Atlantic City Race Course entering the market, users will get one more option to choose from, enriching the state further. Ironically, the later the racecourse enters the market, the less profitable it could be to continue operating. This is because most players could have already chosen their favorite service providers and may intend to stick with them.
We must note that the Atlantic City Race Course owner Greenwood is trying to stop Cherry Hill-based Garden State Park facility from opening a sports betting operation. It argues that an agreement grants them exclusive rights to open an onsite sportsbook. The company doesn’t want a property located near its Parx Casino and Racing facility in Pennsylvania. Does this effort mean Greenwood is aware of the potential of an onsite sportsbook at Atlantic City? If yes, will it enter the market? We will have to wait some more for the answers.