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Bills, Pols, Threats, Feedback In NJ

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Published: November 23, 2010 2:08 pm ET

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Plenty of racing news came out of New Jersey during the evening of Monday, November 22. Seven gaming-related bills passed through the State Senate, which prompted feedback from politicians; thoroughbred horsemen threatened legal action regarding race dates; and an influential breeder accused Governor Chris Christie of reneging on a meeting.

A report by newjerseynewsroom.com explains that New Jersey's full upper house approved a seven-pack of Senate Democrat-sponsored bills to aid New Jersey's horse racing and casino industry. A brief overview of the bills appears in the bullet points below. For a detailed breakdown of each bill, read the newjerseynewsroom.com article by clicking here.

  • Bill S-490, sponsored by senator Ray Lesniak, would authorize Atlantic City's 11 casinos to operate intrastate and international internet wagering
  • Bill S-829, sponsored by senator Richard Codey, would authorize the state racing commission to issue a license to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority to establish an exchange wagering system in New Jersey
  • Bill S-1866, sponsored by senator Jim Whelan, would authorize the state casino control commission to create a pilot program to offer two new classifications for casino licensure
  • Bill S-1980, sponsored by senator Paul Sarlo, would make changes to New Jersey's Off-Track and Account Wagering Act to ensure that off-track wagering facilities are being built in the state
  • Bill S-2229, sponsored by senator Codey, would allow racetracks to combine all wagers placed on the results of one or more runnings or harness horse races into a single pari-mutuel pool
  • Bill S-2390, sponsored by senators Sarlo and Whelan, would lower the minimum requirement for the number of standardbred horse racing dates scheduled at the Meadowlands Racetrack and Freehold Raceway to 100 dates per season at each track
  • Bill S-2394, sponsored by Sarlo, would dedicate an amount equal to the sales and use taxes associated with horse racing, breeding, training, raising or boarding to programs designed to improve and promote thoroughbred and standardbred horse breeding in New Jersey

The bills will now move to the Assembly for action.

It has also been reported that in a joint press release the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association of New Jersey have said they would have grounds to challenge a reduction of racing days from the state-mandated 141 days to 59 days.

A report by Atlanticville explains that the joint release says “Thoroughbred horsemen and breeders are confident that if the Hanson recommendations to reduce live racing are accepted by the governor, the industry would have a solid legal basis to challenge the change because the recommendations unlawfully deprive the industry of its existing statutory and contractual rights."

To read the Atlanticville article in its entirety, click here.

Perretti Farms General Manager Anthony Perretti discussed the impact the situation is having on his family's breeding operation in an article by The Examiner. When queried about whether governor Christie opted to not meet with representatives from the horse racing industry, Perretti said, “The governor promised us a seat at the table before any decisions were made. That never happened.”

To read The Examiner article in its entirety, click here.

Another article by The Examiner offers many quotes by state politicians regarding the recommendations put forth by the Hanson Commission's supplementary report.

The article collectively cites Monmouth County legislators as saying that the Hanson Commission's recommendations will not accomplish the commission’s objectives, which have been stated as “proposing an economically sustainable model for the horse racing industry, without state subsidies” and “proposing a plan that preserves the possibility of live standardbred and thoroughbred racing in the state.”

The Examiner report quotes Senator Beck as saying, “There is no feasible way that all of the racing that is currently taking place at the Meadowlands can be moved to Monmouth Park by 2011;” and also cites assemblyman Joseph Malone III as saying that the commission’s recommendations disgust him. “It totally disrespects the horse racing industry in New Jersey,” Malone was quoted as saying. “It turns its back on thousands of working men and women in the state, and we need to do better.”

To read The Examiner article in its entirety, click here.

Related Stories

New Jersey T-Bred Handle Way Up In 2010 Despite 50 Per Cent Cut In Race Dates
Pols Lash Out Over Hanson Recommendation
"We Have People That Want To Buy The Meadowlands"
Luchento Responds To Supplemental Hanson Report
Second Hanson Report Recommends No Racing At The Meadowlands Racetrack
Gaming/Racing Bills Pass In NJ


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