08/18/2004 12:00AM

N.J. account wagering on the way

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Dennis Dowd, the vice president for account and offtrack wagering for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, told the New Jersey Racing Commission on Wednesday that statewide computer online wagering should be in place by Oct. 15.

Bettors will be able to wager via the Internet and watch the races on streaming video, and there is a strong possibility that voice-activated telephone wagering will also be launched at the same time.

Phone bets utilizing live operators will start at a later date, following construction of a call-center at The Meadowlands.

Bettors will place wagers through a server located at Philadelphia Park that will route the data to the existing Scientific Games platform at The Meadowlands betting hub.

There is no provision yet for showing the races on local television, Dowd said that was "clearly a priority."

The commission will allow 30 days for public comment on Dowd's account-wagering presentation and will meet again Sept. 20 or 21, at which time it could grant the final approval.

While account wagering draws closer, Dowd said the first offtrack betting site has not been selected and could not open until late in 2005, at the earliest.

The commission approved a rule change to lower the number of betting interests for trifecta wagering from six to five.