The long and frustrating journey has ended for the UK-listed betting exchange Betfair’s US division, as New Jersey issues it an exchange wagering license making it the first US state to do so with Monmouth Park taking the lead.

The New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority’s (NJSEA) application for an exchange management license to Darby Development – Dennis Drazin-led and advisor to Darby Development LLC, operators of Monmouth Park – as well as an exchange services agent license to Betfair US was formally approved on Wednesday by the New Jersey Racing Commission during its latest executive session. An exchange wagering deal between the two parties two years ago already made Betfair handler of Monmouth’s advance deposit wagering site. While it took some time to get the necessary regulations approved in 2011 New Jersey passed its Exchange Wagering Act.

Approval of the license means that the first exchange wager for Monmouth could be handled as early as March 2016, which would be the culmination of Betfair’s long and expensive journey. The world’s largest Internet betting exchange spent $10m in an unsuccessful attempt to get industry stakeholders in California over their exchange wagering fear. Meanwhile, New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement director David Rebuck has not been shy about his desire to see the state’s casinos and racetracks offering real-money sports bets via online betting sites as well as land-based sports books. According to Rebuck, if the state’s rehearing with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals is successful and the federal ban on sports betting is overturned, steps to enable online wagering would be taken immediately by New Jersey. Rebuck said that while that is far from assured, the Court’s agreement to rehear the state’s case “is probably the first time that we had a small victory in our efforts to date,” Mr. Rebuck told Gambling Insider in an exclusive interview.

Rebuck added that he thought the drama surrounding daily fantasy sports wouldn’t be a distraction for the state’s pursuit of real-money sports betting and, “That’s the one we’re focused on. If we lose that again, and we’ll know soon, because the hearing could probably be in the next 90 days, then we’ll adapt and see what’s next on our horizon.”

Betfair’s good news comes on the heels of June signing of SB 443 by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and formal approval by the Nevada Gaming Commission, which paves the way for wagers from Nevada-registered business entities to be accepted by Nevada-licensed sportsbooks.


Editor’s note: Correctly attributed Rebuck quote to Gambling Insider.