Sports Betting In Freehold

Sports betting in Freehold, New Jersey, is right around the corner, especially now that the state has formally authorized area casinos and racetracks to open up their sports betting lounges. Atlantic City might get the most press when it comes to New Jersey’s new sportsbook services, but the Freehold Raceway sportsbook promises to be just as good as these, with the added benefit of live horse racing on-site.

Freehold Raceway in Freehold, NJ, is the oldest horse racing track in America, as it has been in constant operation since the 1830s. While it doesn’t offer Thoroughbred racing, Freehold Raceway has always been synonymous with harness racing, and the Cane Pace – the first leg of the Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Pacers – has been held there annually since 1955. (The other two legs of the harness racing Triple Crown are the Little Brown Jug in Delaware and the Messenger Stakes in New York.)

Now that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) has been officially overturned by the US Supreme Court, sports betting in Freehold should be live before the end of the year. Unfortunately, due to various logistics hurdles, Freehold Raceway will not have their sportsbook up and running in time for the start of the 2018-2019 NFL season, though it should be implemented well before the league’s playoff picture starts to take shape this winter. While management has been mum about timeline specifics for the Freehold sportsbook, Chris McErlean, a VP at Penn National Gaming (which is the co-owner of Freehold Raceway) released the following statement:

Hopefully, McErlean is right, and the Freehold sportsbook won’t be so late to the party as to disrupt the overwhelmingly positive potential of sports wagering at the venue going forward. As long as they have odds and lines in time for the NFL playoffs (as well as the NBA holiday season and the MLB postseason), things should go extremely smoothly. After all, New Jersey waited 25 years for land-based sports betting to be legalized, so another month or two shouldn’t hurt.

Freehold Raceway Sports Betting
Freehold Raceway Sports Betting

Even though Freehold Raceway is not a racino (as there are no such facilities in New Jersey at this time), the venue is currently prepping its sportsbook service to offer live wagering and in-game betting to its patrons, much in the same way that neighboring Monmouth Park has taken the initiative to install a sports betting lounge back when the NJ state legislature was putting the finishing touches on its proposed sportsbook laws.

What To Expect From The Freehold Raceway Sportsbook

Now that sports betting has been legalized in NJ via A 4111 (available here), New Jersey residents should expect to be able to wager on sports at the Freehold Raceway sometime before the end of the 2018 calendar year. As far as what to expect from the Freehold Raceway sportsbook itself, you can count on a couple of things: One, the Freehold Raceway sportsbook will be 100% comprehensive, on par with any other major sportsbook in the industry. Two, bettors who wish to wager on-site at the Freehold sports betting lounge will have access to comfortable seating, discounts on drinks, and a festive but subdued atmosphere perfect for both betting on your favorite matchups and watching the games themselves on the venue’s many big-screen TVs.

As it stands, Freehold Raceway – like the other two active horse tracks in New Jersey – could definitely benefit from the increase in revenue that sports betting in New Jersey would bring to the table. Even though the track is among the most popular harness horse racing venues in the country (with two seasons each year comprising all months except June, July, and August), Freehold Raceway is otherwise limited in its offerings, and a proper Freehold sportsbook would not only increase their paying customer base, but it would also introduce thousands of new bettors to the world of horse racing (and horse racing betting) each year, perhaps bringing back enough credence to the discipline to match its erstwhile popularity.

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