OCEANPORT — Monmouth Park will slow their quest to be the first to allow sports betting in New Jersey at the request of state Senate President Steve Sweeney.

Within hours of the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down federal law prohibiting betting on sporting events, Monmouth Park CEO Dennis Drazin announced the park would be "up and running in two weeks" with a "very soft" opening.

Legislation sponsored by Sweeney and state Sen. Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May, and Vin Gopal, D-Monmouth, whose district includes Monmouth Park, formally allows wagering and lays out the rules and regulations for operators to follow. Senate bill S2602 also penalizes any operator who jumps the gun before regulations are established by prohibiting them from taking bets for one year.

Drazin, whose company Darby Development operates Monmouth Park, told the Asbury Park Press they would abide by the law and that he had spoken to Sweeney. He said he would go through with plans to welcome proponents of legalizing sports betting, including Gov. Phil Murphy and former Gov. Chris Christie with "ceremonial betting"  at the park on Memorial Day.

In a statement to the newspaper, Sweeney said he expects the bill to get a vote on June 7 and while he wants to move quickly, he also wants the proper regulations and oversight to be in place first.



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