FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey horse racing track is making its move to catch up with the pack in the state’s hot sports betting market.

Freehold Raceway, which began taking in-person sports bets in October, has signed a deal with PlayUp, an Australian online sports betting company, to offer mobile sports betting. The agreement was reached Tuesday.

Freehold Raceway is affiliated with Parx Casino in Pennsylvania to offer sports betting in New Jersey.

“Parx Casino is happy to partner with PlayUp in New Jersey as they debut their international expertise of online sports betting in the United States,” said Matthew Cullen, Parx’s senior vice president of interactive gaming and sports.

Laila Mintas, CEO of PlayUp USA, said it hopes to launch its Freehold venture in the first quarter of 2021. The company is also licensed in Colorado and provides sports betting, horse race betting and daily fantasy sports in Australia, New Zealand and India.

The company on Thursday announced an agreement with the New Jersey Devils hockey team and the arena in which they play in Newark that will provide exposure for the team via broadcasts, a logo on the ice and other promotions.

New Jersey is the nationwide leader in sports betting; state gambling regulators revealed Wednesday that the state had taken just under $1 billion worth of sports bets in December alone, the latest in a string of monthly sports betting volume records in the U.S.

The state took in over $6 billion worth of sports bets last year, the overwhelming majority of which were placed online.

Freehold had been seeking an online component since its launch last fall, and had hoped to have one up and running by last November.

The track reported $291,632 in sports betting revenue last year, all of it from bets taken in person.

The runaway leader in sports betting revenue among New Jersey tracks was the Meadowlands in East Rutherford. It won more than $206 million in sports bets last year. In addition to its strategic location just outside New York City, it is affiliated with the online sportbook FanDuel.

Monmouth Park in Oceanport, near the Jersey Shore, won $25.4 million last year.


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