SBD/October 19, 2010/Facilities

New Jersey Lawmakers Propose Sports Betting, Horse Racing Plan

Proposed Plan Would Seek To Reduce Expenses At Monmouth Park

New Jersey lawmakers yesterday "unveiled a package of legislation to allow in-state Internet betting through Atlantic City's casinos, legalize sports betting if a federal ban is lifted and pump new money into the horse racing industry," according to Wayne Parry of the AP. The legislation is "intended to save both struggling industries, which for years have fought each other." Democrats in the state Senate said that they "would legalize Internet betting from within New Jersey and let voters decide at the polls whether to approve sports betting." They also "want to offer new types of bets on horse races, expand the state's breeding development program and reduce expenses at the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park." The "unspecified savings from reduced expenses at the tracks and from state casino regulators would be used to support horse racing and casino initiatives." State Senate leaders said that they "hoped the measures could be enacted by the end of the year." The measures "came in response to the recommendations of a task force" appointed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to "chart a future for the state's casinos and racetracks as both face withering competition from neighboring states, as well as the continuing sluggish economy" (AP, 10/18). In Atlantic City, Juliet Fletcher notes the proposal "makes no mention" of putting VLTs in state racetracks. The idea of putting VLTs at the tracks has been "pushed by the horse racing industry but was rejected in Gov. Christie's plan." The Democrats' recommendations for horse racing's future in the state "call for 'elite' racing meets with large prize purses at the Meadowlands as well as Monmouth Park, where the plan was launched as an experiment this year." But the proposal "leaves unanswered how those purses would be paid for" (PRESS OF ATLANTIC CITY, 10/19).  

OUT OF LUCK: In Baltimore, Hanah Cho reports Cordish Co., which is "seeking to build Maryland's largest slots parlor in Anne Arundel County, could lose a contract in Indiana that represents its only other gambling management deal -- despite the Baltimore developer's solid launch of the project." The parent company of the Indiana Live! casino is "seeking to terminate its multimillion-dollar management contract with Cordish." The move "appears to have little bearing on Cordish's plans to build a slots parlor adjacent to Arundel Mills Mall." Anne Arundel voters "will decide in a November referendum whether to allow the 4,750-machine slots parlor proposed" by Cordish (Baltimore SUN, 10/19).

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