Push for fixed-odds betting at Monmouth Park (and in N.J.) gets some notoriety at The Haskell … but doesn’t get put into use

The steeplechase event attracts horses from around the world.

Monmouth Park will host the launch of a “new” triple-crown horse racing competition Saturday when it runs the Grade 1 Haskell, which features many of the leading 3-year-old thoroughbreds.

The “BetMakers’ Bonanza” — a three-race contest based on traditional horse racing’s triple crown. The Haskell will represent the first leg.

BetMakers Technology Group, an Australia-based company, in collaboration with Monmouth Park, will pay a $2 million bonus to any horse who wins in one year: The Haskell, The Kentucky Derby (Sept. 5 at Churchill Downs in Louisville) and a The Breeders Cup Classic (Nov. 7) at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky.

Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top four finishers at the values of 100-40-20-10. Bob Baffert entry Authentic is the morning line favorite at 4:5. The Haskell winner automatically qualifies for the Kentucky Derby. Authentic has three wins and a second in four career starts.

The format for the 2021 and 2022 series of races for the “BetMakers Bonanza” will be determined following the finalization of racing dates for those respective years, but will include the Haskell and culminate with the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Bill Pascrell III.

“BetMakers is truly invested in introducing fixed-odds horse betting to the American horse racing industry in collaboration with the regulators and the tracks and their horsemen,” Bill Pascrell III, trustee at GVC Foundation US and partner at Princeton Public Affairs Group, said.

Pascrell, considered one of the leading experts on online gaming, lottery and sports betting, was directly involved with BetMakers’ deal with Monmouth Park.

“The Bonanza is a strong sign of their commitment to the industry and this is a unique and exciting way for BetMakers to introduce itself to the American public.”

BetMakers, which provides the technology behind fixed-odds betting applications, has been grabbing headline in New Jersey horse racing circles lately due to its push into offering fixed-odds betting for races at Monmouth to bettors in New Jersey.

Simply put, ‘fixed-odds betting’ means gamblers get the odds a horse has at the time make the bet — and are not subject to changes in the betting line before the start of the race, as they are currently.

The fixed-odds betting system is not scheduled to be in operation for The Haskell, but it may be coming.

Fixed-odds betting for New Jersey has been on the horizon since Feb. 4, when BetMakers and Monmouth Park entered into a five-year agreement. BetMakers continues to await a ruling from the New Jersey Racing Commission about authorizing this style of betting, which would take place in kiosks and eventually through betting apps. PointsBet is the first app partner of BetMakers with many others continuing to show interest.

If approved, the wagering would only take place in New Jersey; BetMakers’ intention is to bring it to tracks across the country and it has agreements in place at tracks in Texas, Washington, Virginia Illinois, Oregon and Canada, where it also is awaiting approval by state governments.

Sources closed to the negotiations say the decision from the New Jersey commission is imminent.

Fixed-odds betting has been offered for 10 years in Australia — a country of 24.6 million people — who now wager $25 billion on horse racing annually; 84% of which comes from fixed-odds betting. Comparatively, the United States has a population of 330 million people who wager about $11 billion annually, none of which is done through fixed-odds wagering.

Meanwhile, all bettors’ eyes will be on The Haskell (Race 12) and its seven-horse field. Post time is 5:48. NBC will televise the race.