Freehold Raceway, the last of three New Jersey tracks to offer sports betting, is trying to make up ground with a new sportsbook in a state where sports betting went live in late 2018.
The track is facing competition from Atlantic City casinos, the Meadowlands racetrack and Monmouth Park racetrack, which is located in the same county as Freehold. All of its competitors offer online sportsbooks.
Still, track officials are confident the Freehold sportsbook will find room in the market.
“It’s growing every day, and it’s in a great area,” said Matt Cullen, senior vice president of interactive gaming and sports for Pennsylvania’s Parx casino, which runs the sportsbook at Freehold told the Associated Press. “We’re really excited about it.”
Along with its in-person sportsbook, the track is seeking approval for up to three internet identities, or “skins” that are in the process of being approved by New Jersey gambling regulators. Cullen told the AP that he hopes to have an online site go live within a month.
In New Jersey, more than 80% of sports betting is done online or over mobile devices. The online bets are restricted to people physically present in New Jersey.
The track is also located only 17 miles from Monmouth Park. Monmouth County, however, is a densely populated part of the state and Cullen predicted Freehold will get sports betting customers from the western part of the county and surrounding areas who used to have to travel nearly to the coast to make sports bets at Monmouth Park.
“As far as people in the east and the folks who live by the beaches, that’s yet to be seen,” Cullen said. “Time will tell.”
Freehold track officials also said their live business has been growing despite not launching a full marketing campaign.
“We’re going to need to raise awareness in the area, to let people know Freehold is open for sports betting, especially since we were late to the party,” Cullen said.