In NJ, Dorfman Calls A Spade A Spade

Published: November 24, 2010 02:04 pm EST

Sid Dorfman's journalistic career in New Jersey has spanned more than three-quarters of a century. On Tuesday, November 23, Dorfman, who is respected by many, wrote an opinion piece on the dire horse racing situation in the state of New Jersey. His words cut to the bone of the issue: horseplayers are becoming extinct, but the state

should save racing.

He began his piece by saying, "Meet the two faces of horse racing: public indifference and industry desperation." His next paragraph reads, "It would be easier to save local horse racing if the betting public cared. But it doesn’t."

What Dorfman ultimately conveys in his piece is that there is an overwhelmingly positive economic impact when states opt to allow racing and casino ventures to co-exist.

He says that the lack of legalized professional sports wagering in New Jersey has devastated the state, although, what he considers even worse is "the failure to combine the casinos with horse racing under one roof, as has been done in no fewer than five Pennsylvania facilities."

Dorfman cites numbers that indicate Pennsylvania -- a racino-friendly state -- took in almost $1.1 billion in gaming revenues in 2009. That amount is more than what Nevada took in during the same span. "For sure a casino at the Meadowlands, combined with racing, would propel New Jersey past Pennsylvania, Delaware and nearby Yonkers," he wrote.

In referring to New Jersey's $4 billion horse racing industry -- which also employs 13,000 -- Dorfman says there is a clearly a delicate, symbiotic relationship. "The imperative to save such a vital industry creates an imperative to save the tracks, to separate them is to ruin them both, something the governor should intervene to prevent."

To read Dorfman's opinion piece click here.

(With files from The Star-Ledger)