Report: Freehold Raceway Lines Up Deals To Enter NJ Sports Betting Landscape

A recent confirmation from Penn National Gaming indicates that Northern New Jersey will be part of the next expansion of NJ sports betting.

According to Fantini Research, composed of gaming industry analysts and researchers, Penn National confirmed Tuesday morning that it and Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment are in line to obtain online sports betting skins from Freehold Raceway.

The two companies co-own the state’s oldest racetrack.

Penn, Greenwood extend into NJ sports betting

Located a short drive from Monmouth Park, Freehold becomes the third racetrack in the Garden State to have ties to the state’s ever-growing sports betting industry.

As noted by Fantini, negotiations for a retail sportsbook and online operations are underway and should conclude before the new year.

Such a resolution would expand the sports betting footprint of both Penn National and Greenwood.

Last month, just before Thanksgiving, Penn opened the first Pennsylvania sportsbook at Hollywood Casino near Harrisburg.

In the near future, Greenwood is expected to activate its Parx Casino sportsbook in Bensalem, a mere hour’s drive from Freehold just outside of Trenton.

Penn National, which also operates a sportsbook in West Virginia, has partnered with William Hill US, while Greenwood, at least with Parx, has Kambi Group in its corner.

William Hill (Caesars NJ) already runs the retail sportsbook at Monmouth and has a mobile operation in New Jersey. Kambi, meanwhile, powers three NJ online sportsbooks:

PA operators stepping into NJ online gambling

In a way, Greenwood’s entry into New Jersey was foreseen.

Stated in a press release officially announcing the Parx-Kambi partnership last month, one piece of the agreement hinted at such a move.

“The contract … includes a provision for Kambi to support Greenwood Gaming with a potential sports betting operation in the neighbouring state of New Jersey.”

One Pennsylvania-based sports betting operator has already extended its reach into New Jersey.

SugarHouse, based out of Philadelphia and with a retail sportsbook on the way, launched its NJ mobile operation in August. Through October, SugarHouse generated $873,800, the third-most among eight mobile sportsbooks.

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Freehold finally comes forward

Since winter 2017, Penn National has expressed interest in introducing sports betting to Freehold Raceway.

In December 2017, Penn National Vice President of Racing Chris McErlean noted that the industry could be quite beneficial for the track.

“Certainly, given the state of the industry in New Jersey, any opportunities for increasing potential revenue and foot traffic within the building is a good thing. … This is an opportunity we’ve been restricted from up to this point and we would certainly welcome this opportunity that will help keep Freehold viable going into the future.”

Freehold already could be in line to reap the rewards of NJ sports betting.

Earlier this month, Meadowlands and the Standardbred Breeders and Owners of New Jersey urged state lawmakers to pass legislation to provide $100 million in purse supplements over the next five years to the racing industry.

Under the bill, introduced in October, Freehold would receive $1.6 million in purse money.

Now it appears the racetrack has another stake in the NJ sports betting world.

Image credit: Jonathan Weiss /

About the Author

Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is a longtime sportswriter who has covered the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant has covered games and written features and columns surrounding prep sports, Linfield, and Oregon State athletics and the Portland Trail Blazers throughout his career.