01/04/2016 11:31AM

Monmouth Park lends name to daily fantasy-league site


The horsemen-led company that operates Monmouth Park in New Jersey has joined an increasingly crowded landscape by lending the racetrack’s name to a daily fantasy sports site.

The website was launched Saturday and offers customers the ability to play daily fantasy sports contests, a market that has grown significantly over the last year – to the point of drawing outsized attention from attorneys general in several states, including New York. The white-label site is branded with Monmouth Park’s name, but its operator is Star Fantasy Leagues, a fledgling company in the daily fantasy sports market that is based out of Rochester, N.Y.

Monmouth Park is operated by Darby Development, a company established by officials of the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association to lease the track from the state. The company has aggressively attempted to branch out into other forms of gambling, including a so-far-unsuccessful effort to offer sports gambling. Darby also has partnered with Betfair, a British company, to launch an exchange-wagering platform that allows customers to offer their own bets on horse races. The platform could go live later this year.

“This has been many months in the making,” Bill Knauf, the vice president of business operations for Monmouth, said in a statement. “We are pleased to partner with Star Fantasy Leagues as we continue our goal of an increased gaming and entertainment presence in New Jersey.”

Critics of daily fantasy sports sites contend that the platforms offer gambling in violation of federal laws. The sites have said that their operations are legal under an exemption contained in a 2006 federal law pertaining to fantasy sports. The largest operators in the market have attracted hundreds of millions of dollars in financing, and the two leading sites spent more than $200 million on marketing last fall, at the height of the football season.