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Dancer Introduces NJ Track Slots Bills

Published: October 22, 2013 2:49 pm ET

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Assemblyman Ron Dancer has introduced two measures that would bring slot machine gaming to New Jersey’s horse racetracks with the proceeds being used to benefit both the horse racing and casino industries as well as the state’s share dedicated as aid to education for lower property taxes.

The first measure, ACR-209, proposes a constitutional amendment that, if approved by voters, would give the Legislature the authority to establish slot machine gambling at horse racetracks. The second bill, A-4427, would regulate such gambling at racetracks by directing the state Division of Gaming Enforcement to establish and oversee the slot gambling.

“This is a winning solution, a trifecta, if you will, for the casino industry, the horse racing industry and taxpayers who would all mutually benefit from allowing slot machine gambling at horse tracks throughout the state,” said Dancer, R-Ocean, Burlington, Middlesex and Monmouth. “It would provide an opportunity for casino operators to expand beyond the boundaries of Atlantic City and reach patrons who may not otherwise consider travelling to AC to engage in gambling activities and slow the exodus of Jersey residents traveling to neighboring states’ racetracks that offer slots.

“For the racetrack industry, slots would increase attendance by drawing patrons who ordinarily would not travel to race tracks where horse racing is the sole activity on which to wager,” he continued. “Taxpayers would also come up big winners as the increased tax revenue generated directly and indirectly by new racetrack slot machine operations would result in more state aid to their towns for education, which is the largest driver of property taxes.”

Under Dancer’s bill, A-4427, one of the responsibilities of the Division of Gaming Enforcement would be to determine and oversee the manner and method of the collection of revenues generated from the operation of the slot machines for distribution to horse industry associations, horse racing permit holders, and casino licensees and, most importantly, to be equitably distributed in accordance with a developed formula that is consistent with preserving or enhancing the mutually beneficial relationship between the casino and horse racing industries in connection with the slot machine operations.

“This legislation is good public policy that provides an opportunity for both the casino and horse racing industries to work together to ensure that success of one is not at the expense of the other and, at the same time, generate new revenue for the State to be dedicated as aid to education for lower property taxes,” stated Dancer. “These measures are a win-win for jobs and lower property taxes.”

Under current law, slot machine gambling is only permitted in Atlantic City.

(New Jersey Senate Republicans)

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