Codey: NJ Racing Should Be Included

Published: July 8, 2014 03:45 pm EDT

Recent comments by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and by state Senate President Stephen Sweeney have given momentum to the idea of casinos being built in North Jersey – quite possibly the Meadowlands.

Sweeney, in fact, has suggested that a question about whether to end Atlantic City’s statewide casino monopoly may go on the November 2015 ballot.

State Senator Richard Codey – who also was New Jersey’s Governor in 2005 – said that “horsemen should be included in the deal.”

By that Codey means that he wants to see a sliver of the casino tax revenues collected by the state diverted to supplement horse racing purses – a practice common in most other states.

“Then the racing industry would be taken care of, as it should be,” Codey was said.

Note that if a Meadowlands casino did take in $500 million in annual tax revenues as some project, diverting $25 million for purses, for instance, would represent just five per cent of the total. That’s relevant because in that context, it might be an easier sell politically in the Trenton statehouse.

The money would go to purses at the Meadowlands Racetrack and Monmouth Park – and possibly Freehold Raceway, Codey said.

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(With files from

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