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Are race tracks open and can horse racing resume? What are the restrictions?

Last Updated: 08/07/2020

Horse racetracks can reopen for racing as well as for in-person bets, including at their sportsbooks and lounges, so long as they adhere to required social distancing policies and safety guidelines.

Racetracks must comply with requirements from Executive Order No. 157, Executive Order No. 158, Administrative Order 2020-14, Administrative Order No. 2020-16, and any guidance from the New Jersey Racing Commission.

Reopening protocols at racetracks include, but are not limited to:

  • Limit total capacity of any outdoor area to a number that ensures that all individuals can remain six feet apart
  • Limit the number of patrons in any indoor premises to 25 percent capacity – excluding employees
  • Require workers and customers to wear cloth face coverings while indoors and in outdoor areas when social distancing is difficult to maintain, except where doing so would inhibit that individual's health or where the individual is under two years of age
  • If a customer refuses to wear a cloth face covering for non-medical reasons then the business must decline the individual entry into the indoor premises
  • Prohibiting the consumption of food or beverages and smoking in indoor areas. Exceptions are allowed for individuals engaging in conduct necessary for their health or safety, such as briefly removing their mask to drink water. In addition, employees may consume food and beverages in areas not open to the public, such as an employee break room.
  • Restaurants may offer outdoor dining in accordance with Executive Order No. 150 and the outdoor dining guidance issued by DOH. In addition to the requirements included in Executive Order No.150, such restaurants shall limit their outdoor capacity to 100% of the restaurant's combined indoor and outdoor capacity prior to the expansion of outdoor capacity during this Public Health Emergency. Indoor dining is prohibited.
  • Restaurants located within sports wagering lounges may offer outdoor dining in accordance with Executive Order No. 150 and the outdoor dining guidance issued by DOH. In addition to the requirements included in Executive Order No.150, the restaurant's outdoor dining capacity shall be equal to the indoor capacity of the sports wagering lounge.
  • Other than individuals dining at restaurants or those within a sports wagering lounge, all individuals granted admission to the racetrack facility shall count towards the State gathering limits for outdoor gatherings.
  • Limit occupancy in restrooms that remain open to avoid over-crowding and maintain social distancing through signage and, where practicable, the utilization of attendants to monitor capacity
  • Provide sanitization materials, such as hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, to customers
  • Prohibit non-essential individuals from entering racetracks, stables, and related facilities
  • Require the use of appropriate social distancing measures for individuals picking up or delivering equipment or materials
  • Require horses to be placed in stalls at least six feet apart, wherever feasible, to minimize human-to-human interaction
  • Stagger entry where practicable to limit the number of individuals entering and leaving racetracks, stables, New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC) offices at the racetrack, the paddock, the detention barn, and any other facilities concurrently

For a full list of requirements, refer to Executive Order No. 157, Executive Order No. 158, Administrative Order 2020-14, and Administrative Order No. 2020-16.

Source: Administrative Order 2020-14; Executive Order No. 157, Executive Order No. 158; Administrative Order No. 2020-16