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More On Gural/Meadowlands Deal

Published: July 28, 2014 1:40 pm ET

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A report out of New Jersey has provided more details about the deal that Jeff Gural struck with the state in order to take over operating control of the Meadowlands Racetrack.

According to an article by John Brennan in The Bergen Record, Gural’s 2011 deal to take over operation of the track and build a new $85-million grandstand included a significant clause.

The report states that the clause would see Gural receive a settlement of roughly $100 million if he is not named the operator of any casino built at the Meadowlands complex. The complex also includes the track’s old grandstand, the ‘American Dream Meadowlands’ shopping area, and MetLife Stadium.

The article states that the settlement amount would reimburse Gural for the capital spent on the construction of the new grandstand and the interest associated with it.

Late last year it was reported that Gural has the ability to get out of the lease agreement for the racetrack if casino gaming is introduced to the Meadowlands by another operator.

It was announced earlier this month that Senate President Stephen Sweeney has held private meetings regarding northern New Jersey casino expansion for the past year. Additionally, Sweeney has said that there is a “very real possibility” that the issue could go to referendum in November of 2015.

“There’s a long way to go, such as a referendum in November 2015 having to pass, and nobody has promised me anything,” Gural has been quoted as saying in The Bergen Record article. “But I’d be disappointed if we weren’t the casino operator.”

It was officially announced in April of 2013 that Gural’s New Meadowlands Racetrack LLC reached a long-term agreement with Hard Rock International. The deal saw Hard Rock make an undisclosed equity investment in New Meadowlands Racetrack LLC. The deal also extends to any projected future developments at the racetrack.

Gural believes that the optimal location for a casino at the Meadowlands is right beside the grandstand that he built. “If you look at a layout of the site, where we are is the logical place to build a casino, because it’s relatively out of the way and closer to Paterson Plank Road,” Gural was quoted as saying.

(With files from The Bergen Record)

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