FanDuel Book At Meadowlands Had A Sports Betting Kerfuffle…Or Did It?

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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:

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 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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John Brennan

John Brennan has covered NJ and NY sports business and gaming since 2002 and was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist in 2008, while reporting for The Bergen County Record.

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