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NJ Gaming Expansion Discussed

Published: November 16, 2011 12:51 pm ET

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“Sports betting, while beneficial to the state, is another Band Aid for racing…” Perretti Farms Marketing Director Bob Marks has been quoted as saying. “Racing must get introspective and examine its product to determine its viability to the general public…Sports betting probably won’t happen for the next few years, given the hurdles involved.”

Marks' quotes come courtesy of an article by the Examiner in regard to the prospect of legalized sports wagering in New Jersey. On November 8 via referendum ballot question, residents of New Jersey voted at a roughly two-to-one rate in support of legalized sports wagering in the state.

Some of the proceeds from the expanded gaming would go toward horse racing purses and the breeding industry in New Jersey, but that has not been enough to stop the cry for the implementation of slots gaming at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

“We are losing billions of dollars to neighboring states in convenience gambling that could fund purses and breeding programs in New Jersey,” New Jersey Equine Clinic Owner Dr. Scott Palmer was quoted as saying. “Estimates of the income by placing video lottery terminals or slot machines at the Meadowlands Racetrack range from $500 million to $1.5 billion a year.”

Palmer went on to say, “Pennsylvania casinos on our borders are ‘eating our lunch.’ We need to license video lottery terminals at the Meadowlands as soon as possible and draft legislation that will dedicate a portion of the revenue to all New Jersey gaming interests, including horse racing purses, breeding programs and the Atlantic City casinos.”

With the New Jersey public in support of the implementation of legalized sports wagering at Atlantic City casinos and in the state's racetracks, the next move is for the federal ban on sports wagering outside of Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon to be officially challenged.

“We are hoping for a victory in the courts against the federal government under the guise that the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act is unconstitutional, because it gives four states special treatment by allowing them to take bets on sporting events,” Oceanport Councilman Joseph Irace was quoted as saying.

(With files from the Examiner)

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