New Jersey will soon be home to a new sports betting facility owned by two real estate moguls.

First reported by ROI-NJ, real estate duo Jack Morris and Joe Marino plan to transform the former Garden State Park Racetrack (GSP) in Cherry Hill, NJ, into the states first standalone sports betting property.

Morris is also part owner of Hard Rock, one of eight casinos in Atlantic City with sports betting.

Here is what Morris had to say:

“Former racetracks have the ability to have a sports betting facility, as long as it’s within the oval of what the racetrack is. Clearly, if you look at the plan, all of the property that’s within the oval is owned and controlled by myself and Joe Marino.”

Garden State’s sportsbook operator and proposed timeline

The first of its kind facility could be up and running in 90 days, according to Morris.

Additionally, while an operator has not been announced, Morris said the decision is down to two and a selection could be around the corner.

“All of them are in the business, some that we have talked to are in the business presently in New Jersey, and some are not,” he said.

Morris said the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has been out to the site multiple times. However, the DGE could not be reached for comment.

For its part, Garden State Park is still dealing with a lawsuit between the facility and Cherry Hill Towne Center Partners LLC. At the crux of the dispute is the location of the sportsbook.

Per New Jersey law, Garden State Park is eligible to offer regulated wagering as it is a “former racetrack” that staged a horse race within 15 years prior to the effective date of the original 2014 bill.

Not just a place for NJ sports betting

Morris said he wants the facility to be an “entertainment destination,” where guests can not only bet on games but come for drinks and events as well.

Here’s more from Morris:

“It’s a nice facility, it’s very roomy. It gives us the ability to test the market. If it’s a market where we have what I think will be thousands of people that will be coming here, we can enlarge it. We have plenty of space to do it.”

“We are creating our own concept, and it’s something I think we will end up building and creating where we can do this in other destinations around the country.”

SOSH Architects, which has experience in the casino industry, will design the 142-seat facility.

What’s next for Garden State Park sportsbook?

Currently, NJ sports betting is home to 10 retail sportsbooks and 13 online sportsbooks. So Garden State Park will be joining an already crowded market.

The Hard Rock Sportsbook (online and retail) launched days before Super Bowl Sunday, generating $25,235 in sports betting revenue for January.

That same week, Resorts and Golden Nugget opened their online sports betting sites.

Considering Morris is invested in Hard Rock AC, one could speculate that the casino’s sports betting partner, Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) could be in the running to secure operating rights.

However, considering the lucrative partnerships between sportsbook operators and professional sports leagues, it might be wise to choose a partner with an extensive network of connections.

  • NHL + FanDuel
  • NJ Devils + William Hill
  • NBA + BetStars (The Stars Group), FanDuel

While DraftKings has yet to partner with a professional sports league, the company has been quietly establishing its dominance as one of the top online sportsbooks in New Jersey.

Its recent Caesars deal pushes it into the rest of the US. DraftKings, too, could be a possibility as Garden State Park sportsbook’s partner.

Nicholaus Garcia

About

Nick comes from West Texas where he graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in psychology. After a five-year stint in Chicago, where he wrote about local politics, he moved to Washington, D.C. to write about issues related to gambling policy, sports betting and responsible gaming. He also covers the NJ online gambling and sports betting markets.