William Hill Gets Foot in New Jersey Door for Sports Betting

The UK sports betting giant William Hill has placed their bet on a change in the New Jersey gambling rules by signing a deal with Monmouth Park racetrack.

Monmouth Park New JerseyIt is a move that potentially puts the sportsbook arm of William Hill firmly on the New Jersey map in readiness for the hoped for successful challenge to the NJ sports leagues in order to enact proposed new betting legislation. If things go the right way, the betting firm hopes to secure its place as the prime sports wagering service at the famous track.

To further sweeten the deal, the gambling company is providing sponsorship for the Haskell Invitational race set to run on 28th July this year.

Monmouth Park issued a statement last week saying that the deal set up between William Hill and the racetrack was a "long term" one although further details were not provided.

Talking about the new deal with the top New Jersey race track, William Hill US chief executive Joe Asher said, "One day sports betting will be legal in New Jersey. When it is, William Hill will be there. In the meantime, we are really excited to sponsor the William Hill Haskell Invitational, one of the America's great races for three-year-olds at one of America's great race tracks."

Gambling Rollercoaster

Gambling in the state of New Jersey has been running a rollercoaster ride of late, with several failed attempts to get legislation passed to allow state casinos to run an Internet gambling service. This included last year's successful passage of an Internet gambling bill through the legislative process only to be vetoed by Governor Christie.

Law or No Law?

The latest fiasco has seen the state passing a law allowing sports betting, only to see it overturned flowing a move by the major sporting leagues including the NCAA appealing the decision. They cited various reasons for their objection including those of protecting sport integrity and contradicting federal legislation on this kind of betting.

A federal judge overseeing the case voted in favour of the sports leagues, claiming New Jersey had introduced new sportsbetting laws contravening the 1992 federal law forbidding betting on sporting events in all states, bar those that specifically opted out when the bill was passed. The state has since counter-appealed, setting up a head to head next month in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals on 26th June.

With several individual states getting ready to follow Nevada's lead on creating their own intra-state gambling laws in defiance of the federal stance, it will be interesting to see if New Jersey can win this appeal. If they do, it will mean they get to claim their right to pass internal laws for the benefit of the majority for the state's citizens who clearly want legalised sports wagering or at least the choice for mature adults to do so or not as they see fit.