• The looming New Jersey shutdown would cause all operations to cease at state racetracks.
  • The Meadowlands and Monmouth Park would close their physical and online sportsbooks immediately.
  • NJ lawmakers have until Sunday, June 30, to agree on the new budget.

TRENTON, N.J. – New Jersey gambling venues and sports wagering services are in trouble as the state legislature debates the annual budget.

If the statehouse cannot come to a budgetary agreement by June 30, Gov. Phil Murphy will have the option to institute a partial governmental shutdown.

Should a shutdown be ordered by Murphy, Atlantic City casinos would have a seven-day grace period before shuttering operations on July 8. That buffer could effectively allow New Jersey casinos to ride out most or all of such a shutdown.

However, the state’s two racetrack venues and their associated sportsbooks wouldn’t be so lucky. Those would close immediately on July 1.

The Meadowlands in East Rutherford and Monmouth Park in Oceanport would cease all operations.

The Meadowlands’ closure would be particularly damaging to the sports wagering industry. The Big M’s FanDuel Sportsbook is the highest-volume wagering platform in New Jersey. Currently, FanDuel controls more than half of the market statewide.

While the William Hill Sports Book at Monmouth Park is less popular than the Meadowlands option, it’s still a big player in the marketplace. Worse, the venue is slated to host a major July 4 racing day, which would also be canceled should the government be shut down.

Ironically, the New Jersey Lottery would be unaffected by the government shutdown. The lottery, as one of the state’s largest generators of revenue, is deemed an “essential service.”

Other so-called essential services immune from shutdown-related closure include the NJ Transit system, the New Jersey State Police, the New Jersey Army National Guard, the state’s toll system and road construction services, the prison system, the public school system, and various welfare programs.

Hopefully, New Jersey legislators can agree on the budget and prevent a shutdown, however short it might be. Otherwise, if your Independence Day festivities include horse racing or legal sports betting, you may need to make new plans.

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