Would Bring Casino Simulcast Funding Back To Atlantic City Region
TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Donald Norcross that would help to revitalize the Atlantic City racetrack by bringing funding generated by casino simulcasting back to the South Jersey region was approved today by a Senate committee.
“The Atlantic City racetrack is a South Jersey landmark that has provided decades of entertainment to racing fans,” said Senator Norcross (D-Camden/Gloucester). “By bringing the money originally promised by the Casino Simulcast Special Fund back to the region, we can help to revitalize the facility and hopefully boost the number of live races hosted at the site so that it will remain for years to come.”
The bill (S2517) restructures the distribution of funding from the Casino Simulcast Special Fund, which is funded by a portion of the money generated by wagers on horse races from out-of-state tracks transmitted at a casino simulcast facility in New Jersey. Currently, funding is spread among racetracks throughout the state that meet certain conditions, with funding amounts determined by the New Jersey Racing Commission.
The bill would require that the New Jersey Racing Commission distribute 90 percent of remaining funds from the Casino Simulcast Special Fund, after other statutorily required payments are made, to the Atlantic City Racetrack for capital improvements and live racing day expenses. The remaining 10 percent would be distributed equally between Monmouth Park Racetrack and Freehold Raceway. The current amount in the fund has not been calculated, however, in previous years, it has had an estimated $1.2 million to distribute.
“As we continue our work to revitalize Atlantic City, we have to make sure that sporting venues in the region as a whole are also given the attention they deserve,” said Senator Norcross. “The race course closest to Atlantic City has seen the greatest impact of simulcasting, yet has received funding amounts that pale in comparison to other courses statewide. By directing promised funding back to the track, we can invest in capital improvements and additional live racing events that will help to reinvigorate the facility and return the track to a top-tier tourism destination.”
The Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee approved the bill by a vote of 3-2. It now heads to the full Senate for consideration.