On Monday, October 18 in New Jersey, state senate democratic members of the legislature's gaming task force unveiled their proposal to reinvigorate the state's gaming industry. The proposal includes a
condensed Monmouth Park-style meet for the Meadowlands Racetrack, exchange and single-pool wagering, and the possibility of legalized, intra-state internet wagering.
An article on newjerseynewsroom.com cites New Jersey Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney as saying that legislation to enact the framework will be acted upon before the end of the year.
The article also provides highlights of frameworks which are aimed at helping both the state's horse racing industry and Atlantic City. The highlights appear below.
The framework to preserve and grow the state's horseracing industry and related jobs includes:
- Attempting to streamline operations at both the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park racetracks to reduce operating costs and spending and to expand marketing and promotional opportunities, as was advocated by people that testified before the gaming summit;
- Enabling the Meadowlands Racetrack to follow and build upon the successful Monmouth Park 'elite meet' experiment;
- Enhancing the New Jersey Sire Stakes and Breeding Development programs to allow horse breeders to stay and race in New Jersey;
- Expanding from the current system of pari-mutuel-only wagering to allow for exchange and single-pool wagering;
- Fixing the current off-track-wagering (OTW) law to ensure that sorely needed facilities are quickly opened and operational.
The Atlantic City makeover plan would include:
- Updating the Casino Control Act to deliver 'regulatory relief,' cut red tape without sacrificing the integrity of the gaming system and use technology to eliminate 'antiquated' 24/7 monitoring requirements;
- Reorganizing the Casino Redevelopment Authority to give it zoning and planning authority over Atlantic City's casino district and allow the agency to play a more significant role in the resort's management, including greater oversight and investment in tourism and policing to ensure a clean and safe environment;
- Legalizing intrastate internet gaming through Atlantic City's casinos and put a question on the general election ballot to allow voters the opportunity to legalize sports betting;
- Implementing a full-scale, multi-year national marketing program through a partnership between the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority and casinos;
- Enacting the 200-room casino pilot program.
For comments from New Jersey politicians in regard to the proposal, read the newjerseynewsroom.com article in its entirety here.
In a release sent out Tuesday, October 19, Tom Luchento, president of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey, commented on the proposal.
“We feel there is a ray of hope now,” he said. “We want to thank Senator Sweeney and the leadership for supporting us and understanding the importance of the racing and breeding industries to New Jersey.
“We appreciate that they took the time to hold three public hearings and made the effort to understand our positions. The commission that issued the Hanson Report did not hear us, nor did it offer us much hope for survival.
“We look forward to working with these senators and assembly members as they take the steps to create a sound financial plan for our future. In horse racing, there are winners and losers in every race, but when it comes to the economy of our state, there is every reason that we should all come out winners.”
(With files from newjerseynewsroom.com and SBOANJ)