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Four Casinos At The Meadowlands?

Published: August 21, 2014 11:17 am ET

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The Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce has presented a proposal for a state-of-the-art racino at The Meadowlands, but this just wouldn't be a typical expanded gaming and racing combination.

According to a story in Wednesday's New Jersey Star Ledger, there could be as many as four casinos included in the project.

"If there’s going to be an expansion of gaming outside Atlantic City, the Meadowlands should be the first place that’s considered," said Jim Kirkos, president of the Regional Chamber of Commerce.

With one casino in Atlantic City already closing up shop this year and another three on the verge of doing the same, talks for a 2015 referendum on expanding gaming to other parts of the state is heating up.

While the Meadowlands seems like a natural fit for this type of project, there remains one small problem – coming up with the money to finance it.

"Who’s going to pay for it?" added chamber president, Kirkos. "We’re going to ask people to step up to the table and come up with ideas."

The project comes with an estimate price tag of nearly $1.2 billion. It would include 2,000 new hotel rooms, a 1-million-square-foot convention center, up to 20,000 additional parking spaces and a 1-1/2-mile monorail.

"We think there’s a natural draw of audience that will be coming here for different reasons and not just coming here for gaming," added Kirkos.

"We believe the best solution would be to put a casino at the Meadowlands, and to try to work with Atlantic City to try to utilize the revenue that we would pay to help them recover," said Jeff Gural, president of the Meadowlands Racetrack. "We’re really not trying to be a destination resort. Our goal is to try to recapture the business that’s leaving New Jersey and going to Bethlehem (Pennsylvania) or Yonkers (New York)."

(With files from the New Jersey Star Ledger)

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