Some potentially good news for the horse racing business in New Jersey….
And good new for folks like me who love to gamble on races.
Legislation geared toward the horse racing industry unanimously passed the New Jersey Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee Jan. 20.
The bills focus on expansion of simulcasts, privatization of Meadowlands, and racing dates. They all were approved by a 5-0 vote, according to legislative resources.
“The horse racing industry is too important to the economies of communities throughout our state, but especially Bergen County, to let it waste away,” said Assemblywoman Connie Wagner of Bergen County, where Meadowlands is located.
“We have a long way to go to ensure its success, but these bills represent our continued commitment to making it strong and productive for years ahead.”
One bill would allow bets to be placed at New Jersey racetracks, off-track wagering parlors, or casino simulcast facilities in advance for races not on a simulcast menu but imported by other wagering outlets in the state.
Another would permit the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which operates Meadowlands, to enter into a joint operating agreement with a lessee to smooth the transition toward privatization of the North Jersey track.
“These bills all share one single goal—enhancing our horse racing industry to allow it to continue creating jobs and economic development throughout our state for years to come,” Assemblyman John Burzichelli said. “We’ve taken many steps in the past year to improve our horse racing industry, and these bills represent another step toward keeping it strong.”
Republican Gov. Chris Christie hasn’t yet said he will support a measure that would give racing $15 million for purses this year.
I’ll keep everyone posted on what happens with Christie.