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New Jersey Takes Another Step Forward on Horse Race Wagering in Bars and Restaurants

On January 17, 2012, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a bill, now codified as P.L. 2011, c.228, which establishes a pilot program for wagering terminals at “eligible taverns, restaurants, and similar venues where food, alcoholic beverages, or both” are served for on-premises consumption –i.e, bars and restaurants.

The legislation provides that the New Jersey Racing Commission may issue a license to an entity that currently leases a state-owned racetrack, for the establishment at not more than 12 bars of not more than a total of 20 wagering terminals. Only one license may be issued, however, a licensed entity may enter into an agreement with another licensed entity that also has an agreement with the state for the lease or sale of a state-owned track to jointly implement this program. The Meadowlands lessee and Monmouth lessee may agree to jointly operate this program (or either can do it itself, but if one does, the other cannot).

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