Senator Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, blasted Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Racing Commission for standing in the way of Monmouth Park from taking sports bets this weekend.
“There are two aspects to the administration’s actions. The first is that they are taking their time to sign the legislation, and the second is that they are standing in the way of Monmouth Park opening while taking that time,” said O’Scanlon said in a press release this afternoon. “The Governor claims he needs to review this legislation before signing it, but there is no practical reason why Monmouth Park cannot start accepting wagers while that’s happening–the sky won’t fall, lions won’t roam the streets, locusts won’t ravage our fields. There is absolutely zero likelihood of any negative impact of Monmouth Park opening today. That being the case, one has to wonder about the motivation here. It’s disturbing.”
“The legislature came together in a bipartisan manner to get this done correctly and quickly. All of that bipartisan effort has been brought to a screeching and frankly irrational halt by the actions of the administration.”
“Standing in the way of opening sports betting today hurts not only Monmouth Park, but the horse racing industry and employees at all of these facilities; it costs everyone money, including taxpayers. The impact is negative all the way around! This action doesn’t say anything pretty about the administration and that sends an unfortunate message.”
“The Governor is standing before two choices in this scenario: either he’s the hero or he’s the villain. There is simply no in between. So far he is choosing, inexplicably and disappointingly, to be the latter. I’m holding out hope that he heads in the other direction and quickly realizes this was a blatantly wrong move. We need him to switch course, sign the legislation, and signal Monmouth Park that they can open. I’m hoping that happens today.” O’Scanlon concluded.
Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso, O’Scanlon’s partner in the Assembly representing Monmouth County’s 13th legislative district, said, “This is a really big weekend for sports, especially in the horse-racing industry. The Belmont Stakes, NBA Finals, the French Open and a weekend of all thirty baseball teams taking the field – that is a huge missed opportunity and an even bigger loss for our gambling industry. Governor Murphy simply must sign the sports betting bill immediately. Waiting shouldn’t even be considered.”
Joe Irace, Council President of Oceanport, the home of Monmouth Park, said, “Oceanport is incredibly disappointed to see yet another roadblock for Monmouth Park to open for sports betting. Continuing this delay is inconceivable and is only hurting us. Senator O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman DiMaso have gone out of their way to include us in this process. The Senator passionately argued to Legislative leadership that the prohibitive language needed to be removed, and now the Administration is standing in the way. It’s unfortunate and frustrating that the Governor is choosing to take this path. ”
Senator, and honorary fire fighter, Vin Gopal represents Freehold, home of Freehold Raceway, as well as West Long Branch, Eatontown and Long Branch, all neighboring communities of Monmouth Park and Oceanport. Earlier this week, Gopal told MMM that sports betting has nothing to do with budget negotiations between the legislature and Murphy. He said published reports that Murphy would hold up the sports betting bill for negotiating leverage were inaccurate and he expected Murphy to sign the bill today.
Today, Gopal declined to comment when reached by MMM. But he wishes everyone a Happy World Ocean Day.
Happy #WorldOceansDay Here in New Jersey, the ocean is an integral component of our culture and our economy. Let’s all do our part to ensure our oceans stay healthy and viable for generations to come! pic.twitter.com/UpPGIoUWHs
— Vin Gopal (@vingopal) June 8, 2018