Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Big Can of Worms

The relatively dry contest plate (at least for me) for the next two weeks, and inability to participate in the appealing Twin Spires Handicapping Series on account of my New Jersey address, got me thinking that it is time to rattle a few cages to see whether something can be done to give Garden Staters a chance to use third-party online wagering (ADW) platforms -- if nothing else, for contest play.

Never discount the longshot...
Perhaps my efforts will draw the attention of a tree falling in a secluded forest, but why not ask questions.

For background, as I have blogged in the past, I have serious qualms with, which seems to be owned (at least partly) by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority patronage cafe and, from my short-lived experiment with a subscription, offers zero value-add to handicapping contest players. NJ law requires state residents to use the state-supervised ADW, though I have my doubts about "supervision," based on the lack of promotional efforts from the site, which is more or less a base horse wagering repository.

In other words, even though Twin Spires and DRFBets Tournament League offer low-cost options for contest horseplayers to earn a berth to the $2 million NHC in Vegas, in addition to other incentives, NJ'ans are shut out completely...and that's extremely aggravating in a free market.  The notion of a state-run ADW monopoly is ludicrous.

This led me to make contact on two fronts:

  • First, I emailed my Assemblywoman, Caroline Casagrande, who sits on the State Assembly's Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee, encouraging the committee to consider legislation to allow NJ'ans to sign up for out-of-state ADW accounts. The thinking is that, if lacks any forward-thinking approach to customer value, then why should contest horseplayers be prohibited by law from using a Twin Spires, even for contests involving notional (fictitious) wagers? I'll post any responses from Ms. Casagrande or the other committee members, assuming one hits my inbox.
  • Secondly, I filed an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request with the NJSEA, requesting some financial information about the specifics of 4NJBet's leadership structure, annual budget and operating expenses, ADW-specific data on subscriber counts (defections, as well) and online handle. This could prove too far reaching, but there's not enough information to glean from the 4NJBets website to make a determination of how the ship is run, though I suspect my request may be stunted at the gate. If nothing else, I hope to rattle some cages, but ultimately need data to suggest any reform, involving a free-market system whereby NJ'ans can use third-party ADW venues.
By all means, please share your feedback, and let me know if you'd be willing to join the cause. I have some form letters and OPRA request information if needed.


  1. Good luck on this. I'm tired of being held hostage and being told where I can lose my horse playing funds(lol). Seriously the NJ horse player gets screwed on the tournament circuit by not being able to play in the affordable qualifiers offered by Twinspires and others.

  2. I haven't heard a peep yet, but then again agencies get something like 7 days to respond. I'll keep you posted, and maybe work up an online petition that the 150 racing fans of NJ can sign.