EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A horse racing track in northern New Jersey has brought legal sports betting to New York City’s doorstep.
The Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford started taking sports bets at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The track is located in the sports complex where the NFL’s New York Giants and Jets play, about six miles (10 kilometers) from New York City. The daily fantasy sports provider FanDuel is running the space, and says bettors are now able to wager on the World Cup final, men’s and women’s tennis, and Major League Baseball games. Later this year, gamblers will be able to place bets on everything from first downs to wins and losses in all major American sports.
“The things that we will be bringing will be like being able to bet in the middle of a game, so that as the score changes the odds change,” FanDuel Chief Operating Officer and President Kip Levin says.
CBS2’s Dave Carlin spoke with people as they placed the first bets there Saturday.
“I’m going to do a baseball game,” Alex Baker, of Nutley, said.
“I think it’ll bring a lot of revenue,” said Sohil Desai, of Wayne, who bet on France to win the World Cup.
New Yorker Jane Sackhein drove there from the West Village where she lives.
“This is a new experience for me, that’s why I came, I wanted to learn more about it,” she said.
“This is the only place in Northern Jersey. I opens it up to Westchester, Manhattan, even Queens. Nothing’s available for you in New York City,” Rob Menaker, of Westfield, said.
Regulars at the racetrack said the parking lot was three times as crowded as usual for a Saturday.
“It was always horse racing, and now — I was here a couple times horse racing, and now it’s sports now, so it is weird,” said Sal Marotta, of Totowa.
Some New Jersey residents, like Soriya Sussman, said they don’t support gambling.
“Gambling really destroys lives and it’s not a positive thing for families. So instead of the state creating things to improve health, improve education and even bring families together is more important than looking at a really fast way to get income into the state,” she said.
The Meadowlands Racetrack becomes the fourth sports betting outlet in New Jersey, following the state’s U.S. Supreme Court victory in a case that cleared the way for all 50 states to legalize sports betting. Monmouth Park racetrack in Oceanport, near the Jersey shore, and the Borgata and Ocean Resort casinos in Atlantic City had already offered it.
Those three outlets took in $16.4 million in sports bets in the first two weeks it was legal. Some of the money raised was bet on events which haven’t even happened yet, like the World Series. In taxes alone, New Jersey has raised almost $294,000.
“There was no legislation done in New York, so everybody in New York has to come, if they want to make a legal sports bet, here to the Meadowlands or Monmouth or Atlantic City,” Monmouth Racetrack CEO Jason Settlemoir said.
Legislators predicted sports betting would raise 20 to 40 million dollars in tax revenue per year. While they haven’t made that money so far, they expect football season to bring them closer to that target.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)