Some patrons at the Meadowlands Racetrack last night were caught unaware of the fact that the sports betting windows close at 1 a.m. sharp five nights a week.
Twitter poster Eric (@GoldBoxATL) wrote early this morning:
Many of the betters are going home tonight with tickets in hand, including me. @FanDuel Meadowlands didn’t have cash in the draws to payout. Amateur hour here. @GUnit_81 @andrewssports @JimmyVaccaro @beatingthebook @paulyhoward @MitchMossRadio @VSiNVinny @VSiNLive
— Eric (@GoldboxATL) July 25, 2018
But a FanDuel Group spokesman begged to differ:
“The FanDuel Sportsbook’s business hours of operation last night were to 1 AM, as clearly posted throughout the facility. Once 1 AM hits, our cages are closed. We cannot take wagers or pay out wagers after that time.
“To be clear, there was no issue with cash on hand. All customers are welcome to return today to collect any winnings, or to mail in any winning tickets for payment.”
This is just a relatively minor example of inevitable growing pains — here, in part, because unlike at a 24/7 Las Vegas casino, there is no horse racing going on at that hour so there is nowhere to go.
NJ sports betting timeline
The introduction of sports betting in New Jersey has come fairly rapidly:
- The U.S. Supreme Court voided Congress’ Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 on May 14, finding that the law was improperly “commandeering” most states into enforcing a federal statute, thus allowing any state to offer the betting;
- The state Legislature passed a bill on June 7;
- Gov. Phil Murphy signed the bill into law on June 11;
- Monmouth Park racetrack and Borgata casino in Atlantic City launched their sports betting on June 14;
- Ocean Resort casino (formerly Revel) debuted the gambling on June 28;
- The Meadowlands began offering sports betting on July 14.
The state’s victory came after a six-year legal battle as the NCAA, NFL, and three other major sports organizations sued to prevent the gambling and received backing from the courts five times over the years.
Delaware joined Nevada in offering Las Vegas-style sports betting just days before the New Jersey launch, and several other states are expected to follow suit in 2018.
FanDuel Group is a recently-completed conglomeration of European gambling powers Paddy Power and Betfair, horse racing site TVG, and daily fantasy sports sites FanDuel and DRAFT.
Meadowlands gambling hours
The Meadowlands sportsbook is open Mondays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m., closing an hour later on Fridays and Saturdays and also opening an hour earlier on Saturdays and Sundays. Given this, on any Sunday-Thursday when there are late MLB games, there is a strong possibility that the book will officially close before those games conclude. In some instances, bettors there for the late games on Friday and Saturday may also be shut out, especially if the games go into overtime or extra innings.
This poses a problem, as bettors simply can’t cash their tickets at a casino cage, like they can in Las Vegas. One solution may be for the cashiers to remain open until the last game concludes, but that solution is also laden with difficulties, as what if a contest runs until 4 a.m.?
The betting options go well beyond traditional team sports like Major League Baseball, with WNBA, pro tennis and golf events, boxing and mixed martial arts, and “futures” bets on the eventual champion in all major sports.
Several other Atlantic City casinos, as well as Freehold Raceway, plan to have sports betting available at some point this fall.
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