"Finding $100 million dollars in this day and age to build a racetrack without gambling, slots or some other form [of gaming] is almost impossible but we've been
able to do it.".
In an interview before Friday night's card of harness racing at the Meadowlands, Jeff Gural states that he has the money lined up to lease the track.
"We've convinced people that we can get people back to the track if we have a new building, I think the OTWs will help, I've got a partner in Cantor Gaming - Lee Amaitis, who's a genius. He lives in Nevada and knows more about gambling than anybody. We're going to try different bets, we're going to go after the rebate shops, we're going to change this game upside-down.
"We're not just going to spend $100,000 and hope that by some miracle of a sudden people get interested in harness racing. Our plan is to completely change the model. Obviously it will take us a while until that new building is up but we can certainly introduce new forms of wagering - over the Internet, on the phone - and we can get Bayonne [OTB] open.
While understanding that the duration of the meet might not be ideal for the horsemen, Gural thinks that the 81 days discussed in the proposal could work.
"I have some other ideas we've tried in Tioga and been very successful up there. Whether it would work in an cosmopolitan area like this, who knows, but I think if you make it fun, if it's fun for people to come here - especially in the warm weather, while it's not ideal for the horsemen reducing it to 81 days is a big plus for us especially when the summer meet is a championship meet, 45 days, I think we can really make that a good meet."
The major obstacle standing in Gural's way right now, according to him, is the unions.
"I think that if we can work things out with the unions, I think we'll be in pretty good shape but that's a big 'if' obviously."
Gural's interview with Sam McKee is available below.