With all the attention and excitement being paid to Joe Kyrillo’s U.S. Senate candidacy and a new map that most think makes Frank Pallone even harder to beat, there is little if any talk about a GOP candidate in the 6th Congressional District.
So let’s throw some names out there and have then have a poll. I start with names that come to mind. Please add names in the comments. Over the weekend I’ll create a poll.
Former Highlands Mayor Anna Little
Selika Josiah Gore, Marlboro
Matawan Councilwoman Toni Marie Angelini
Matawan Councilman Tom Fitzsimmons
Assemblywoman Amy Handlin
Atlantic Highlands Councilman Peter Doyle
Keyport Mayor Bob McLeod
Former Middletown Committeeman Tom Wilkens
Middletown Mayor Tony Fiore
Hazlet Committeeman Scott Aagre
James Hogan of Long Branch
Oceanport Councilman Joe Irace
Former Freeholder Bill Barham
Former Assemblyman, triCityNews Publisher Dan Jacobson
Calls on taxpayers from Oceanport and neighboring communites to join the fight
“Atlantic City is now a FAILED business model”
Oceanport Councilman Joe Irace’s remarks at the borough’s reorganization meeting today:
2011 marked a year of challenges and changes to our Borough. Oceanport’s future well-being hinges upon two very important issues, the continued viability of Monmouth Park and the redevelopment of Fort Monmouth, neither of which is really within our control. If these two matters aren’t addressed properly, the consequences for Oceanport and our neighboring communities will be devastating..
The more immediate of the two issues is Monmouth Park. 2011 was a year in which uncertainty was the only certainty when it came to Monmouth Park. Was the State going to remain in control, lease or sell the park to private ownership? The decision was made to lease. Then came numerous changes, negotiations, finger-pointing, name calling and, ultimately, a muddled picture as to who is actually in charge. Just last week, the State decided to continue racing in 2012 under the control of the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority and rebid the lease in 2012 for the 2013 racing season. For 2012, the current agreement, as we understand it from reading about it in the newspapers, calls for 141 racing days at an average purse of $150,000 per day. To put that number in perspective, we were racing at $1,000,000 a day in 2010 and $400,000 a day in 2011. The projected daily purse of $150,000 is the lowest for any major track in the United States. In fact, at $150,000 a day in purse money, Monmouth Park, the most beautiful and historic racetrack this side of Saratoga, can no longer be considered a major track. 2012 also calls for no stakes races and, more notably, no Haskell. The long term ramifications of this are obvious. Is Trenton determined to undermine and eliminate racing in New Jersey? It sure seems that way.
Trenton’s stated position is that the State of New Jersey can no longer “subsidize” horse racing in New Jersey. And, you know what? I ABSOLUTELY agree with Trenton on that issue. Because the fact of the matter is that the horseracing industry doesn’t have to be subsidized. It just has to be allowed to compete on equal footing with horse racing in New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland. But the big thinkers in Trenton have blinders on when it comes to the realities of horse racing and gambling in today’s world. With the stroke of a pen, our elected officials in Trenton could permit “racinos” in New Jersey, but instead of allowing our state’s horse racing industry to compete with the gaming, racing and casinos that have popped up in New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland, our Trenton brain trust has chosen to invest $250,000,000 of taxpayer money in a stalled Atlantic City casino development.
The Atlantic City business model is outdated. New Jersey no longer has the monopoly on gambling that it had in the 1970s. Indeed, by any reasonable financial analysis, Atlantic City is now a FAILED business model. But our elected officials in Trenton refuse to acknowledge this fact and, instead, have chosen to pour $250,000,000 of taxpayer money into a venture — that private firms won’t touch — in return for a 20% interest in the business. What is 20% of nothing? We need our elected State officials to stop investing in THEIR past and start investing in OUR future.
Monmouth Park is the Borough of Oceanport’s largest tax ratable and one of the jewels of the Jersey Shore. Monmouth Park’s continued viability should be this governing body’s NUMBER ONE priority in the year 2012. Oceanport’s citizens and the citizens of ALL of the Jersey Shore communities should make their voices heard on this issue. We aren’t asking for a handout from the State! We just want New Jersey to be able to compete on equal footing with New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland. We’ve got the infrastructure, we’ve got the people, we’ve got the horses. We just need the tools. The State of New Jersey needs to adopt the Racino business model NOW!
As far as the redevelopment of Fort Monmouth is concerned, this issue will present huge challenges as we head into 2012 and well beyond. Decisions made today will have an impact – one way or another — on Oceanport for the next 25 years and beyond. When we unsuccessfully battled for local control of the 419 acres that are located in Oceanport, we were concerned over what the State would do to our small, family oriented, residential community. Today, rumors abound that our 2nd largest employer, CommVault, which ranks only behind only the embattled Monmouth Park as a source of employment, has been lured to the Tinton Falls section of the Fort Monmouth site. It is believed that this move is premised upon large tax breaks and tax credits being given to CommVault by the people who are charged with the duty of redeveloping the fort while creating jobs. This isn’t job creation, however, it is job poaching. And the Borough of Oceanport loses a business to Tinton Falls under the guise of “job development” at the fort. How can this be a good idea?
I am cynical, at best, about the State of New Jersey’s ability to create jobs at the fort, especially in view of the State’s past record in this area. That is to say, the State of New Jersey doesn’t have a history of creating jobs— other than government jobs. Stated simply, government does not have the ability to create private sector jobs and the historic and profound lack of accountability at the State level is all the more reason why the Oceanport Municipal Council fought long and hard for local control over the fort’s redevelopment. Sadly, we lost that battle. Now it is this governing body’s duty — and the duty of all members who follow us —- to make sure that we don’t lose the war. We must remain vigilant and continue to demand that we have a voice in the redevelopment process, not just a seat at the table. We cannot stand idly by as the bureaucrats and politicians try to fit square pegs into round holes in the name of “job creation” The only thing worse than doing nothing about the redevelopment of the fort is doing something badly, and that’s where I am afraid we are heading. And this isn’t just an Oceanport issue any more. A bungled fort redevelopment will have a devastating financial and social impact on Monmouth Beach, Long Branch, Little Silver, Fair Haven, Rumson and Sea Bright, too. The citizens of those towns should be just as concerned as we are that the fort gets redeveloped properly and organically. If we expect to be heard, then we all have to involve ourselves in the process.
Bureaucrats and politicians have come to expect — and, indeed, thrive on — an apathetic electorate and they have no incentive to do the will of the taxpayer if they have no fear of the taxpayer’s wrath. We, as a governing body, have a duty to educate the people who elected us about what is actually happening at the fort and involve them in the process as much as possible. Those who elected us, however, have to be willing to stand up and be counted by attending and, more importantly, PARTICIPATING in meetings of the Fort Monmouth Economic Redevelopment Authority and the Oceanport Borough Council so that we can fight the good fight for our community.
In closing, we have a lot of work cut out for us. We must continue our fight to protect the Oceanport that we all know and love. All of us who live here and raise our families here know that we have a lot to lose, and we have only ourselves to blame if we let others dictate our destiny. You’ve got a governing body that has proven that it is willing to fight for our right to control our own destiny. None of us have any political aspirations beyond that of serving the people of Oceanport. Help us take the fight to the powers that be. Stand up for yourselves. Get vocal. Stay vocal. Get involved. Stay involved. We need you. We need each other. Let’s work together for a better Oceanport in 2012
Ian Linker is the only declared candidate for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate race against Senator Robert Menendez next year. If Linker gets enough signatures to get on the primary ballot he is likely to face State Senators Joe Kyrillos and Mike Doherty in a race for the nomination. Former Roxbury Mayor Tim Smith is also acting like a potential candidate.
We had a good conversation with Ian, challenging him on why he is starting his political career at such a high level and on his fund raising ability. I’ll say this for Linker, the $3950 he’s raised so far is more money than Anna Little has raised in her fledgling quest for a rematch against Frank Pallone.
I don’t believe that Linker has a remote chance to be the nominee, and I told him so. I even bet him dinner at any restaurant in the country, including travel expenses, that he would not win the party line from any county in the state for the primary. He took the bet (after the show via facebook), which proves to me he’s gotten in over his head. I’m looking forward to dinner at Latitudes in Sunset Key on Linker.
Yet, I give Ian a great deal of credit for entering the arena and fighting to make a difference. I hope his passion survives the ordeal he has chosen.
Listen to the first half hour of the show. Maybe I’m wrong about Linker.
During the second half hour Oceanport Councilman Joe Irace joined us with an enlightening and informative conservation that included comments on the utter lack of representation Monmouth County gets in the House of Representation from Frank Pallone and Rush Holt, the difference Irace and his colleagues on the Oceanport governing body were able to make, with the help of Senator Jennifer Beck, regarding the establishment of the Fort Monmouth Redevelopment Authority, and the predicament New Jersey’s Horse Racing Industry and Monmouth Park in particular face in these challenging economic times.
Irace makes a compelling case for VLT’s, slots, in the Meadowlands.
Enjoy the show.
Next week, Tuesday the 30th between 5PM and 6PM, our guest will be political strategist Mike DuHaime. DuHaime is to Governor Christie as Karl Rove was to President George W. Bush and David Axlerod is to President Barack Obama.
We’ll be talking about the 2012 presidential race. You won’t want to miss that show which will be broadcast on WIFI AM 1460 and on the Internet here.
The LaRossa and Gallagher: Real Jersey Guys On The Radio Show featuring former Senator Dick LaRossa and Art Gallagher is sponsored by Repatriot Radio.
Ian Linker is the only declared Republican candidate for the nomination to challenge U.S. Senator Robert Menendez in the 2012 election. The attorney who resides in Bergen County wrote an Op-Ed piece on education reform that goes a step further than State Senator Mike Doherty’s proposal in bringing equality to New Jersey’s education funding.
Linker is embracing the the New Jersey Parental Rights Act, legislation sponsored by Morris County Assemblymen Anthony Bucco and Michael Patrick Carroll which would grant scholarships or vouchers directly to parents of school age children to use at the school of their choice. Linker is also calling for the elimination of teacher tenure and wasteful duplication is school administration.
Former Senator Dick LaRossa and I will be talking to Linker about his proposal and his candidacy for U.S. Senate.
Oceanport Councilman Joe Irace is probably the best known councilman in Monmouth County, if not all of New Jersey. Without a doubt he is the best know councilman in Trenton. Unlike many politicians, the media savy Irace does not use his social media and public relations skills to promote himself. He uses the media to generate support for and interest in the multitude of challenges that the small Borough of Oecanport has faced since he has been an elected official. From Fort Monmouth to Monmouth Park and the Horse Racing Industry, Irace is an effective and outspoken leader for the interests of Oceanport. He has stood up to and often frustrated powerful special interests and Trenton insiders.
Irace will be joining us at 5:30 for the second half hour of the show.
The LaRossa and Gallagher: Real Jersey Guys On The Radio Show is broadcast every Tuesday from 5PM till 6PM on WIFI 1460 AM and on the Internet here. The show is sponsored by Repatriot Radio.
You are welcome to join the show with your questions and comments. The numbers to call in our 609-447-0236 and 609-447-0237.
The latest Atlantic City Rescue Plan by the State of New Jersey for all intents and purposes, ensures a slow and painful death by a thousand cuts to New Jersey’s horse racing industry all so that our elected officials in Trenton are both blinded and mesmerized by the bright shiny lights of Atlantic City. The political machine is fond of trumpeting the tired old canard that New Jersey’s racing industry is dying. They tell this big lie over and over again in the hope that by sheer repetition it will become the truth, all the while purposely ignoring the politically inconvenient fact that Atlantic City’s gambling industry is not dying, but is actually dead and has been so for quite some time.
This proposed plan ignores the most obvious socially and fiscally responsible solution: allowing for the installation of video lottery terminals, slot machines or a gaming casino at the Meadowlands.
Why does the State continue to ignore this solution? Because a great number of our unelected officials, entrenched bureaucrats and political power brokers in Trenton, rather than deal with the realities attendant to the success of the introduction of video lottery terminals or casinos at racetracks in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York, have decided that the State of New Jersey is going to get into the business of subsidizing the failed business model that is Atlantic City. Some of the most shrewd and brilliant businessmen in the world couldn’t sustain the Atlantic City business model, yet Trenton’s powers that be are supremely confident that they are up to the task, the rest of the State of New Jersey be damned. And, quite frankly, why shouldn’t they be confident what with the tremendous success they’ve had over the past two decades with the revitalization of Camden, Newark and Paterson, the Xanadu Project, the School Construction Corporation, Abbott Districts, pension funding, budget balancing and the recent Race to the Top Application?
As evidenced by the success of gaming sites in Connecticut, Delaware, New York and Pennsylvania, the residents of the tri-state area are more than willing to forego the bucolic vistas offered by a ride down the N.J. Turnpike and Garden State Parkway and the urban “charm” of Atlantic City in favor of more convenient gambling venues. Notwithstanding the fact that the two most interested parties, the horsemen and the general public, are clamoring for a casino at the Meadowlands facility, the State dismisses the idea out of hand in favor of a proposal that provides neither party with what it wants.
Two reports by Christiansen Capital Advisors, commissioned by the New Jersey Department of Treasury, recommended the installation of slot machines at the Meadowlands. The reports stated that 5,000 machines at the Meadowlands would produce $750 million annually and that 10,000 machines would produce $1.5 billion annually. The same study suggested that 2,100 slots at the Meadowlands would reduce Atlantic City gross gaming revenue by .01 percent.
Senator Sean Kean recently said on the New Jersey Senate floor “if it (a Racino at the Meadowlands) were put to a vote we’d probably get a majority, if not a super-majority (in support), to save horse racing in the state of New Jersey.” Despite the overwhelming financial benefits flowing from such an arrangement, Trenton summarily dismisses the installation of Video Lottery Terminals, slot machines or a gaming casino in the Meadowlands in what can only be interpreted as a yet another deferential bow to Atlantic City’s political power brokers.
Given the fact that over the past decade or so New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware have destroyed Atlantic City’s monopoly on East Coast gaming, one would think that our friends in Trenton would have enough sense to fight fire with fire and move quickly towards the racino business model. Unless, of course, maybe our Atlantic City-centric friends from Trenton don’t want to move quickly because if they wait long enough for the racing industry to finally die, then they won’t have to share profits with anybody. How much would you like to wager that, after years of categorically denying the financial benefits of allowing gambling outside of Atlantic City, our friends in Trenton will have a sudden about face on the issue once the horsemen have been forced from the Meadowlands?
Trenton refuses to acknowledge the viability of the racino model and, instead, continues to dump on our horse racing industry and the 7,000 jobs, $110 million in federal, state and local taxes, and 57,000 acres of working agricultural landscape which come along with it. Racinos around the country employ nearly 30,000 people. Bringing racinos to New Jersey will create thousands of new jobs. Additionally, it will solidify many jobs that may be in danger of leaving our state in favor of states that have already authorized racino legsilation. Racinos are a proven model that states around the country are turning to for gaming. Twelve states have already implemented racinos and many more are debating proposals to allow them in the near future. In 2009, racinos around the country generated $2.6 billion dollars in tax revenue for state and local governments. Additionally, they strengthen the state’s agricultural industry. Racinos allow existing racetracks to grow their purses, spurring new investments in breeding racehorse ownership throughout the state. Additional racehorses will create more jobs and improve the overall economic impact. As Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York and the nine other racino states can attest – racinos improve the rural economy. But the health and well being of our state’s rural economy does not seem to be of paramount importance to the movers and shakers in Trenton. Why should they spend a few million dollars to shore up and promote a proven, historically viable and stable commodity like horseracing, when instead they can throw HUNDREDS of millions of taxpayer money at a financial and social corpse like Atlantic City?
Racinos are a sure thing. Rushing with reckless financial abandon into the resurrection of Atlantic City is a sucker’s bet. Sure thing. Sucker’s bet. Sure thing. Suckers bet. Which one will our friends in Trenton take? If left to their own devices, I think we all know that our friends in Trenton will take the sucker’s bet every time. And since our friends in Trenton will be spending our tax dollars trying to raise the corpse that is Atlantic City and its gaming industry, we, the taxpayers, are the suckers. And we really are suckers if we let them do this without giving them a fight. I say that we bring the fight to them. Let’s do everything we can to get this matter to a vote of the New Jersey Legislature as soon as possible!
VLT’s, slot machines, or an all out gaming casino in the Meadowlands is the only way to protect horse racing in New Jersey
Oceanport Councilman Joe Irace delivered the following report regarding the borough’s Monmouth Park Task Force at this evenings council meeting:
On Monday January 10th our Monmouth Park Task Force met to discuss the future of Monmouth Park as it pertains to the recent Hanson Report Part 2. Our Task Force meeting was attended by a varied cross section of members including two former New Jersey State Senators, a horse veterinarian, thoroughbred owners, and concerned Oceanport residents. The meeting was very specific and our participants quite vocal and knowledgeable. Our Task Force once again maintained the position that VLT’s, slot machines, or an all out gaming casino in the Meadowlands is the only way to protect horse racing in New Jersey. All the surrounding states of New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland now have some form of gaming at their race tracks. This uneven playing field enables our competitors to lure New Jersey horseman out of State with larger purses and better quality horse racing.
Knowing the current legislative posture in New Jersey and knowing that gaming is not coming to the Meadowlands this year, our Task Force was once again proactive in seeking solutions to get us through 2011 and beyond. Among the suggestions were: working with Monmouth Park to seek alternative revenue streams such as a boardwalk type facility in the picnic area, upscale restaurants, concerts, retail boutiques and perhaps even a hotel. Anything to make Monmouth Park more desirable as an asset to the State, not just for horse racing, but as a destination place in the heart of the Jersey Shore.
The Task Force continues to ask for the actual financials of Monmouth Park, not of the full New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority, of which Monmouth Park belongs. Are the numbers the State uses correct when they say the facility loses $6 million? We do not think so and would like to see the empirical evidence.
We continue to be concerned with the possible veto of a bipartisan bill approved in the New Jersey Senate and Assembly that would enable horse racing to not only survive, but to thrive. It is important to remember that horse racing contributes 7,000 jobs, $110 million in federal, state and local taxes, and 57,000 acres of working agricultural landscape and open space to New Jersey.
Our Governing Body and our Task Force will continue to lobby our elected officials on behalf of Monmouth Park. It is important not only to Oceanport and Monmouth County, but to the state of New Jersey as well.
The following are Oceanport Councilman Joe Irace’s remarks from today’s Reorganization Meeting:
Good Afternoon and Happy New Year!
This afternoon, I’m fortunate to have my family and friends with me as I begin my second term on Oceanport Borough Council. I would like to thank the residents of Oceanport for giving me this chance to, again, serve as your councilman. It is both an honor and a privilege.
I would like to thank my wife Eileen who, God knows puts up with a lot, and our two daughters Kristi and Samantha. Samantha often serves as my official photographer and Campaign Manager. The support and understanding of my family is an amazing gift that is truly appreciated. I would also like to thank my parents, Joseph and Jennie. Mom & Dad, you are true inspirations to me and great role models, too. Thanks to my Brother Rick and his family who are also with us today. To all the residents of Oceanport, your overwhelming support is the reason I sit here today. I pledge to continue my best work in my next three year term.
Congratulations to all the fire and first aid officers sworn in today. Special thanks to Tom Crochet, outgoing Chief, for his dedication to our borough. I’d also like to thank outgoing Councilman Jay Briscione for his many years of service. Jay’s contributions regarding our two biggest issues, Fort Monmouth and Monmouth Park, have been invaluable to all of us as a Governing Body. I’m glad Jay has volunteered, to remain active in both of these important projects. Welcome back Ted Ibex. As a former Councilman, Ted has played an important part in what our team has accomplished. I know he will be able to hit the ground running as he begins his current term.
The borough of Oceanport continues to deal with the direct and immediate impact of the closure of Fort Monmouth and the inane decisions involving Monmouth Park Racetrack. We as a Governing Body and community have to be increasingly vigilant and proactive knowing we don’t have ultimate control over either issue.
The actions being taken today regarding Fort Monmouth affect the future of Oceanport. Regardless of the political ramifications, we as a Governing Body, worked hard on the Fort Monmouth Redevelopment Bill. We participated in conversations and debates that consumed many hours and were not always cordial but were necessary to protect Oceanport and our future as a community. As a Governing Body we were able to extract an unprecedented 40 amendments to the original Fort Monmouth Bill which gave us some say in what happens in the 419 acres that will be located in our boundaries. Ultimately, this bill seems to reflect a lot of compromise as set forth in the amendments; HOWEVER, the one place that there was no compromise is in the underlying premise of the bill: State control. In my opinion, everything after State control is secondary. Therefore our vigilance going forward is vital to making sure Oceanport is protected as redevelopment progresses.
The recent Hanson Commission Report seems to suggest that Atlantic City casinos are more important to our State then horse racing. As host town to Monmouth Park, Oceanport couldn’t disagree more. The Commission seems to totally disregard the benefits that horse racing brings to New Jersey; such as 7,000 jobs, $110 million in federal, state and local taxes, and 57,000 acres of working agricultural landscape and open space.
A study done by Christiansen Capital Advisors, commissioned by the New Jersey Department of Treasury at a cost of $100,000, recommended the installation of slot machines at the Meadowlands. The reports stated that 5,000 machines at the Meadowlands would produce $750 million annually and that 10,000 machines would produce $1.5 billion annually. The same study suggested that 2,100 slots at the Meadowlands would reduce Atlantic City gross gaming revenue by a mere .01 percent and perhaps save live racing at Monmouth Park. Why were this study, and its results ignored?
Clearly, we need to remain involved and active in both matters as we head though 2011. I know that with Mayor Mahon’s leadership and the active role our Council has taken on both matters, Oceanport is in good hands!
In closing, I would like everyone to remember our troops who are serving overseas. We are able to enjoy our many freedoms because of their willingness to serve.
The latest version of The Hanson Commission’s Report on gaming does nothing for the long term benefit of Oceanport and/or Monmouth Park and puts the Standardbred and Thoroughbred owners and trainers at odds with each other. The report calls for bringing Harness Racing to Monmouth Park to run at night in the winter months. The estimated costs to the State of New Jersey for the winterization of part of the grandstand, changing track surfaces and reconfiguring some of the barns for Standardbred Horses is $4.6 million. Winter harness racing would necessitate the installation of lights at our “historic” track right in center of a residential neighborhood. While we as a Council would love to do whatever it takes to protect Monmouth Park and help it not only survive, but thrive, this Commission’s proposed plan ignores the most obvious socially and fiscally responsible solution: allowing for the installation of video lottery terminals, slot machines or a gaming casino at the Meadowlands.
Both the Standardbred owners and the thoroughbred owners are united in their opposition to a dual meet at Monmouth. The Standardbred owners have perhaps the best track in the country, at the Meadowlands, located in an industrial area off of Route 3, 7 miles from midtown Manhattan. It is foolhardy to expect their loyal patrons to travel 1 hour South of East Rutherford to Oceanport to enjoy Harness Racing when Yonkers Raceway, 30 minutes away from East Rutherford, offers the same product AND a casino. The thoroughbred owners have enjoyed Monmouth Park for years and would much rather race on the surface that currently exists. Let’s not forget that the two most interested parties, the horsemen and the general public, are clamoring for a racino at the Meadowlands facility, the Commission dismisses the idea out of hand in favor of a proposal that provides neither party with what it wants.
Two reports by Christiansen Capital Advisors, commissioned by the New Jersey Department of Treasury, recommended the installation of slot machines at the Meadowlands. The reports stated that 5,000 machines at the Meadowlands would produce $750 million annually and that 10,000 machines would produce $1.5 billion annually. The same study suggested that 2,100 slots at the Meadowlands would reduce Atlantic City gross gaming revenue by a mere .01 percent.
Senator Sean Kean recently said on the New Jersey Senate floor “if it (a Racino at the Meadowlands) were put to a vote we’d probably get a majority, if not a super-majority (in support), to save horse racing in the state of New Jersey.” Despite the overwhelming financial benefits flowing from such an arrangement, the Hanson Report summarily dismisses the installation of Video Lottery Terminals, slot machines or a gaming casino in the Meadowlands.
Chairman Hanson, through his Commission, which, interestingly, includes no horsemen, refuses to acknowledge the viability of the racino model and, instead, continues to dump on our horse racing industry and the 7,000 jobs, $110 million in federal, state and local taxes, and 57,000 acres of working agricultural landscape which come along with it. Racinos around the country employ nearly 30,000 people. Bringing racinos to New Jersey will create thousands of new jobs. Additionally, it will solidify many jobs that may be in danger of leaving our state in favour of states that have already authorized racino legislation. Racinos are a proven model that states around the country are turning to for gaming. Twelve states have already implemented racinos and many more are debating proposals to allow them in the near future. In 2009, racinos around the country generated $2.6 billion dollars in tax revenue for state and local governments. Additionally, they strengthen the state’s agricultural industry. Racinos allow existing racetracks to grow their purses, spurring new investments in breeding racehorse ownership throughout the state. Additional racehorses will create more jobs and improve the overall economic impact. As Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York and the nine other racino states can attest – racinos improve the rural economy.
Racinos that have reinvested their windfalls into racing, such as Sunland Park in New Mexico which hosts the Grade 3 Sunland Park Derby, which Mine That Bird used as a launching pad to his Kentucky Derby victory, and Prairie Meadows in Iowa, which hosts the Iowa Festival of Racing, with three graded stakes that attracted full fields of competitive, quality horses in 2010 are just two examples of the proven business model.
Let’s do everything we can to get this matter to a vote of the New Jersey legislature as soon as possible!