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Christie To Pass, Then Veto Racing Funding?


Published: January 17, 2011 11:56 am ET

Last Comment: January 18, 2011 10:32 am ET | 6 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

According to a report, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie could eventually utilize veto power to stop $30-million in funds from being directed to the state's horse racing industry after he authorizes the bill which calls for it.

An article on has cited observers as referring to the power as a 'not now but later' veto option.

An Assembly and Senate-backed bill would see $30 million redirected from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority to the horse racing industry. The funds would be utilized by the New Jersey Racing Commission over a three-year period. The bill would see $15-million of the funds allocated to racing in the first year, and would see the amount reduced for the following two years ($10-million and $5-million, respectively).

The article cites Gov. Christie's December 17, 2010 stance that he would see the end of subsidies from Atlantic City to the horse racing industry.

The report states that, 'As governor, Christie could strike out the language with a conditional veto of the bill and send it back to the Legislature to be voted on again. But lawmakers believe he may try something different: He may sign the bill with the subsidy intact, then use his executive control over the Racing Commission to effectively stop the subsidy from ever being issued.'

The article cites Frank Corrado, an attorney that specializes in constitutional law, as saying, "It's as if he shifts his use of veto power to the back end of the process. That gives him more flexibility."

"Do you think he'd be that devious? I think he understands what a loss it would be if our industry can't survive. I think if he gives the money to us, he'll do it wholeheartedly," Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey President Tom Luchento was quoted as saying.

(With files from

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January 18, 2011 - 10:32 amMr.Schott,

John Carter SAID...


I would love to do my part to help save the BIG M by firing up big on there product like i used to, but i made a decision approx 2 years ago to stick to forms of gambling where the house take was fair and reasonable, so for that reason i can't support them. I have to go for now and place some sports wagers, you have to love that 5% house hold.

January 18, 2011 - 8:39 amWhy don't we worry about

Allan Schott SAID...

Why don't we worry about saving the Meadowlands first? If the Meadowlands is not saved, it is all immeterial isn't it?

January 17, 2011 - 3:15 pmI agree Bob that the race

John Carter SAID...

I agree Bob that the race tracks do need some assistance or they won't survive but my point is the industry must catch on to the fact that if the handles continue to plummet eventually they will be cut off there money. The government is not going to support a product forever that nobody is supporting. The major tracks must find a way to keep the handles respectful.

We seen montreal go from a track that wagered 1.5 million per card to a track that no longer exists. I lived out in calgary in the early eighties and calgary and edmonton used to wager approx $500.000 per card. Now racing in alberta is all but dead. Approx 20 years ago weg used to average handy 2 million per card they are down to a little over a million. I could go on and on with many more examples. If the wager continues to plummet at some point the government will cut off funding and be able to do it making a clear case that the game is dead.

At the current archaic and excessive takeout rate that the tracks charge they have no chance to turn the wager around. They have lost a ton of people like me who will no longer put up with getting my pockets picked every time i play a race. It does not matter if you win or lose the race you bet on, you are getting short changed. The young generation of gamblers will never accept the excessive takeout rates the tracks charge. They will continue to play sports and poker, games where you at least have a fighting chance. If the race game does not accept this and accept this soon they will become totally irrelevant and eventually be cut off funding because of it.

January 17, 2011 - 2:11 pmI agree with most of what

Bob Colbert SAID...

I agree with most of what John is saying except racing can't survive in this country without some sort of outside assistance. Either with slots or major tax breaks that all involve government approval. Look at Kentucky, the home of T-bred racing and they are struggling and looking for slot assistance. The reality is that with all the alternative gambling options around the dollar is spread too thin and the only way to get people back is to offer a product that attracts them. Running 4000 claimers won't do it.

January 17, 2011 - 12:45 pmI doubt that he would take

John Carter SAID...

I doubt that he would take the funding away from them this way, it would be a very under handed way for even a politician to operate, although as state and provincial budgets tighten up anything is possible. Having said that the industry at some point is going to have to start learning how to stand on there own two feet instead of relying on handouts 24/7.

They need to start competing with other forms of gambling for there share of the market. Race track managers, track presidents and boards of directors need to start to figure out how to attract new customers to the track instead of there sole focus being on how to get more handouts which at some point will eventually be taken away or reduced and last but not least the horsemen and horse woman need to stop resisting change and understand the status quo will eventually finish them. No better or more disgusting example of this then the horsemen and woman of vernon downs vetoing Jeff Gurals attempt to lower the track takeout. Backward thinking like this is why the industry probably won't survive past another 20 to 30 years.

January 17, 2011 - 12:23 pmIsn't it clear by now that

Bob Colbert SAID...

Isn't it clear by now that Christie doesn't want racing in the state? He has made it perfectly clear over the last year or so that all he cares about is the casino's in Atlantic City. He is going to stick with this to the end, which will come very soon. At that point, New Jersey will be a state with no racing of any kind and no casinos either.

All this is the fault on the residents and horse people in the state for allowing this to happen....All this talk from Tom Luchento to save racing but at no point did he take it to the people. You can't fight against government without the help of the people. Where he failed is not providing information to the residents whats being lost to other states by not allowing slots and other gaming in the state tracks. If has been proven over and over again that if the average resident understands whats being lost, they will speak up and that will make a difference.

it's time to allow this to die a proper death and move on. Focus on the other states that are really making an effort to keep racing alive.

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