First-ever sports betting takes place at Far Hills steeplechase races

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FAR HILLS -

Far Hills Mayor Paul Vallone placed the first bet ever at the Far Hills steeplechase races since the state legalized sports betting.

Officials say they're not looking to change the event, but rather offer a new experience. They say it will eventually increase the amount they can give back to the community.

"This is something that is going to benefit the patrons, but also help the Far Hills Race Association increase their donations to charities and hospitals," the mayor says.

MORE: Far Hills steeplechase horse race to be held this weekend

Bets are placed inside the wagering tent, where gamblers can go inside and pick their horse.

"I think it's awesome – it's great for the state," says William O'Brien, from Virginia. "The tax revenue is going to be awesome. People been doing it for years so it's nice to kind of get it open."

Far Hills Race Association officials say they've raised $18 million for local charities over the years.

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