OCEANPORT, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The New Jersey Senate is set to vote Thursday to legalize sports betting.
Monmouth Park has been preparing for this moment for years and says it could start taking bets this week.
CBS2’s Meg Baker took an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the operation.
It was training day Wednesday as new employees learned the ropes, like how to work the computer system and place sports bets.
“We’ve hired close to 50 employees here getting everybody trained up. Have some of our folks from Nevada out kind of showing everybody the rules of the road, some best practices,” said Michael Grodsky, Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for the bookmaker, William Hill.
He said that sports betting will be similar to horse betting – you pick your team, hand over the cash and hope it pays out.
”In the first floor grand stand area, there’s 15 windows, which you’ll be able to look at giant odds boards, check out the lines for the games, a variety of sports, see what odds you like, and walk up and ask any questions you have about betting and make a wager,” Grodsky said.
Inside the sports bar, there are six other stations to try your luck, 100 televisions to watch games, and a bar and restaurant for food and drink.
“There’s different prop bets available, too. We offer one bet every day on how many total runs will be scored in every baseball game, called the Grand Salami,” said Grodsky.
Locals Baker spoke with said, bring it on.
“I think it will increase revenue for the whole state,” one man said.
“I think it will boost business, it’ll bring a lot of new people to the area,” a woman added.
“I just turned 21, so I can finally do it. So going to lose a little bit of my paycheck,” said Chris Ryan.
At first, you will physically have to be there in order to place a wager. But in the future, you may be able to pull up an app on your smartphone and place a bet, as long as you are in the state of New Jersey.
“We’ve always said we will be open as soon as responsibly possible. So once the legislation passes, we’ll have to get approval — from not only the governor to sign, but we’ll also have to get approval from the Department of Gaming Enforcement,” said Grodsky.
That could be as soon as Friday.
Officials at the Meadowlands racetrack say they could be ready to take sports wagers by football season.