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Lesniak Proposals To Aid AC, NJ Racing

Published: August 10, 2010 10:28 am ET

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It has been reported that Ray Lesniak, the New Jersey senator backing pro-legalized sports wagering in the state, has proposed a pair of plans which he believes will give Atlantic City casinos the best chance to return to prominence while saving the state racing industry at the same time.

An article on cites Lesniak as saying that he supports the Hanson Report's stance on both the Atlantic City casinos and that purse subsidies must be eliminated from New Jersey horse racing.

Lesniak has proposed that the purse subsidy that the racing industry currently receives be replaced by a portion of capital taken in through legal intra-state online gaming, which he estimates to be between $210 million and $250 million. According to Lesniak, the introduction of legalized gaming would bring the state $47 million to $55 million in tax revenues.

"Legislation I have introduced, S-490, to authorize internet gaming from servers located in Atlantic City needs to get moving now,'' Lesniak was quoted as saying in the article. ‘It will produce more revenue for reinvestment in Atlantic City, much needed revenue for the state, keep our valuable racing industry alive, and create thousands of jobs for our residents.

"Who could possibly be against this?' The casino industry, that's who! Why? Because it's lobbying for federal legislation which will prevent New Jersey from getting any revenues from internet gaming. What a tragedy it will be if we let them fleece the people of the state of New Jersey and sell out Atlantic City, the Meadowlands, Monmouth Racetrack and our horse farms in the process.''

The article also quotes Lesniak as saying that a footnoted plan in the Hanson Report -- a plan prepared by McKinsey & Co. entitled 'The NJ Gaming, Sports and Entertainment Commission: Revitalizing Atlantic City' -- features a more plausible course of action for the state's gaming interests.

"It is not clear from the Hanson report whether the commission members just never read the McKinsey document, failed to understand what was being recommended or after a critical evaluation rejected the full plan while adopting some elements,'' the article quotes Lesniak as saying. " In any event, the Hanson Commission left on the table the makings of a plan that will work.''

(With files from

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