Jeff Gural doesn’t have his casino yet, but legal NJ sports betting may tide him over for the time being.
This past week, Gural and international sports betting firm Betfair US announced via press release a long-term deal in which the company would provide sports betting services to Gural’s Meadowlands Racetrack.
“We could not be more excited to partner with Jeff Gural and his partners for sports betting in New Jersey and New York,” Betfair US CEO Kip Levin said in the release. “Meadowlands Racetrack has the potential to be among the best, if not the best, sports betting venues in the US. Combining these premier facilities with the global sports betting prowess of Paddy Power Betfair is a great match and will enable us to bring an unparalleled sports betting experience to customers in the northeast.”
Betfair US is one of four brands under the Paddy Power Betfair umbrella. In addition to the Meadowlands deal, Betfair launched a long-term partnership with New York’s Tioga Downs.
“We went through a diligent process and reviewed several options to provide customers with the best sports betting experience possible,” Gural said in the press release. “In the end, Betfair’s world-leading products and experience proved the best choice. We are eager to get started with our partners, with whom we have had a long relationship for racing with TVG, on this exciting venture.”
Betfair expands New Jersey presence
They’re also New Jersey’s premier provider of online horse racing betting via TVG. And, earlier this month, Paddy Power Betfair bought daily fantasy sports site FanDuel that should launch later this year.
Its new partnerships ensure that the company has a stake in four major NJ gambling markets: online casino, racetrack wagering, daily fantasy sports, and sports betting.
Meadowlands adds clout
Gural, chairman of Meadowlands and Tioga Downs, was one of the most outspoken proponents of expanding casino gambling beyond Atlantic City.
A referendum calling for the addition of up to two casinos outside of Atlantic City failed by a 2-to-1 margin in November 2016. However, Gural hasn’t given up hope.
The partnership with Betfair will benefit the property whether Gural gets a casino or not. But the presence of such a powerful international name no doubt sets up a strong infrastructure for a future casino.
NJ sports betting and Betfair: Timing is everything
While no specific sports betting launch date has been set, it would be Gural’s sweet revenge if his racetrack took the first sports bet in the state instead of a flagship Atlantic City casino such as Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.
Regardless of who places the first bet, the partnership is advantageous for Gural because of geography, too.
His two tracks — one in East Rutherford, NJ, and one in Nichols, NY — sandwich Pennsylvania’s Mohegan Sun.
Should his two tracks launch sports betting before Mohegan Sun, he stands to gain a significant advantage over his Pennsylvania counterpart.