It took almost a year, but there’s a new way to bet on horse racing in the Garden State. Fixed-odds horse racing is now available at Monmouth Park in New Jersey, making it the first track in the state to offer the bet type.
The initial offering of the new wagering format also marks a first for horse racing across the United States. The first action was the fruition of a lot of legwork by everyone involved.
Fixed-odds horse racing makes its debut in New Jersey
Monmouth Park first offered fixed-odds betting for its program on Saturday, May 7. The track dedicated two windows to fixed-odds wagering. Currently, there are no self-service kiosks offering that type of odds.
Those are coming in the near future, though. Betmakers provide the odds service to the park. In a Tuesday press release, Betmakers called the launch a success.
“This is a momentous occasion for BetMakers and US horse racing in general,” said Betmakers North America CEO Christian Stuart.
It wasn’t just the first time a racetrack in New Jersey offered fixed-odds wagering on horses. It was the first time that any track in the entire United States did so. Throughout the entire history of betting on horse racing in the US, pari-mutuel odds have dominated.
Why is fixed-odds wagering a big deal?
The benefit to fixed-odds betting on horses is that bettors know exactly what their odds are when they place their bet. With pari-mutuel wagering, the odds are not final until the racebook closes on the race. That usually doesn’t happen until just before the race begins.
There’s a trade-off in that, though. In exchange for the security of fixed odds, bettors have to accept the vig that the racebook bakes into those odds. In pari-mutuel wagering, your “opponent” is other bettors instead of the book.
This could represent a significant development for horse racing if it spreads from Monmouth Park out to other tracks in the US. That will greatly depend on to what extent such wagering becomes legal in other places, though.
The bet type didn’t just materialize at Monmouth Park, though. It’s the result of years of work both at the track and elsewhere in New Jersey.
New Jersey Monmouth Park enjoying fruits of its labor
Monmouth Park operator Darby Development was integral in a 2021 law that legalized fixed-odds horse wagering. Betmakers were also integral to the deal that ultimately convinced the state government to approve the change.
Thus, it’s fitting that for now, the only races available for fixed-odds betting at Monmouth Park are the live races happening at the track. However, it plans to add races from other North American tracks and then from other parts of the globe in the near future.
If fixed-odds wagering on horse races takes off at Monmouth Park, the push to legalize the wagering format in other states with live tracks might increase. Either way, it will all have started at Monmouth Park.