OCEANPORT, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A New Jersey racetrack has taken another step toward offering sports betting if it becomes legal in New Jersey.

Monmouth Park Racetrack announced Thursday it has formed a group to regulate sports betting at the track.

The track says the purpose of the Independent Sports Wagering Association is to ensure a secure and reliable wagering environment and to safeguard the integrity of the games being bet on.

Official say the group is modeled after organizations in the financial sector and real estate industry.

Gov. Chris Christie has been in a court battle with the pro sports leagues and the NCAA over whether New Jersey can offer legal sports gambling. A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments on the latest legal motions at the end of October.

Horse racing tracks are likely to implement sports betting in New Jersey before casinos do, a gaming expert says.

Joseph Weinert, executive vice president of New Jersey-based Spectrum Gaming Group, told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney in September that most casino operators in Atlantic City own other gaming properties around the country, so they may fear bucking the feds and losing their gaming licenses.

Racetracks, however, “don’t have the licensing requirements the casinos have to worry about,” Weinert said.

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