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Nine days do not a juggernaut make, but early returns on New Jersey sports betting at Meadowlands Racetrack look promising.
The Associated Press reports that FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands Racetrack took almost $3.5 million in wagers in its first nine days. That report on handle follows an encouraging opening-weekend figure of $1 million.
Meadowlands is one of just four casinos in New Jersey accepting sports wagers at the moment. That likely will not be the case for long, as the state Division of Gaming Enforcement approves other New Jersey sports betting applications.
Jeff Gural, chairman of Meadowlands Racetrack, told The Associated Press that the opening few days of legal sports betting met expectations.
“We did OK,” Gural said. “Our goal the first weekend was to exceed $1 million which we did. The next four days were quiet with nothing to bet on due to the All-Star break.”
Gural also said the book is not running full-steam quite yet. Ten windows are open and more are coming in an expanded space. Although online and mobile wagering are legal, no New Jersey sports betting operation is active with it yet.
In addition to launching its physical sportsbook, Meadowlands also made news with an online and mobile partnership this week. PointsBet, an Australian bookmaker, announced a skin deal with Meadowlands and Tioga Downs.
The deal will allow PointsBet to launch its first US legal sports betting outfit. PointsBet CEO Sam Swanell told Legal Sports Report that while he preferred to start by football season, paperwork and operational needs make a fourth-quarter launch most likely.
Meadowlands opened its book during one of the softest parts of the sports betting calendar. While World Cup soccer provided a boost, early July features only midseason MLB and WNBA games. For new sportsbooks, a summer launch presents an opportunity to work out any kinks or bugs before the start of football season in August.
FanDuel Sportsbook — a creation of the company’s acquisition by Paddy Power Betfair — will be able to road-test its product before starting up later this year in West Virginia. The company struck a deal with The Greenbrier for West Virginia sports betting that likely will open in time for the NFL and college football.
Meadowlands likely will see a boost from football beyond the traditional lure of betting on the sport. The New York Giants and New York Jets both play home games at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands complex, adjacent to the sportsbook at the racetrack.