Day At The Track

Codey continues fight for Meadowlands casino

05:14 PM 09 Nov 2010 NZDT
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A New Jersey lawmaker, State Sen. Richard Codey (D-Essex), told a State Senate committee working to hasten the opening of as many as a dozen off-track betting parlors in the state that slot machines are needed at New Jersey's racetracks -- which flies in the face of earlier recommendations made by the Hanson Commission to Gov. Chris Christie. Codey's remarks came at a Monday hearing in Trenton, N.J.

"It's good that we're working on some items, but all of this doesn't fix the problems until we are allowed to have slot machines at the tracks," Codey was quoted as saying inthe Asbury Park Press. "States near us are racking up millions and millions of dollars -- even billions, when Aqueduct opens its casino -- from slots at their racetracks."

The Hanson Report recommended the closing of the state's racetracks and taking measures to protect Atlantic City's position in the state's legal gambling industry. Three "Gaming Summits" held in New Jersey led to the recommendation that all the off-track betting parlors authorized by state law be opened and the tracks be given the ability to manage exchange wagering.

Codey, however, noted that countless New Jersey dollars would flow over the Hudson River to Aqueduct Racetrack, where ground has been broken for a $380 million racino that will be home to 4,000 video lottery terminals.

Codey told the Senate panel that citizens of New Jersey "will flock to Aqueduct like you can't believe. Eight hundred million dollars (which is what some estimate would flow to New Jersey coffers if a Meadowlands racino was opened) will walk over the bridges to Delaware, New York and Pennsylvania. That's sad."

The Senate committee passed -- unanimously -- two bills dealing with race wagering, which appear headed for a vote before the full upper chamber.

by John Pawlak, the U.S. Trotting Association

Courtesy of the US Trotting Association's Web Newsroom


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