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Sweeney & Whelan Pledge Support To Protect Jobs At State’s Racetracks

TRENTON – In advance of Friday’s first fact-finding meeting with respect to the gaming and horse-racing industries, Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney and Senator Jim Whelan said they would commit to protecting the thousands of jobs the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park racetracks provide by ensuring that both facilities stay open.

The lawmakers said the jobs of the thousands of employees at the Meadowlands and MonmouthPark racetracks would become costly casualties under the Governor’s Hanson Commission proposal.

“With the Governor’s enthusiastic support, the Hanson report has abandoned our horse-racing industry,” said Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem). “People are struggling and we cannot afford to lose a single job – the horse-racing industry is an important employer, as are our casinos. This initiative is about developing a comprehensive strategy across the gaming and horse-racing industries to protect these jobs while we look to create new ones.”

Sweeney and Whelan said that the ultimate goal of the gaming summit must be to revitalize and ensure the long-term success of the state’s gaming, racing and entertainment sectors – not create winners and losers.

“We all recognize that we are in challenging times,” said Sweeney. “But the chosen alternative of eliminating an entire industry is not acceptable. We need to find new strategies to make the horse-racing industry self-sufficient and viable.”

“There is no greater supporter of Atlantic City than I, and I will ensure that we do everything possible to protect and grow the resort’s gaming industry,” said Whelan (D-Atlantic), who will be the summit’s Senate co-chair. “However, we cannot afford to lose the jobs at the Meadowlands and MonmouthPark that the Governors’ Hanson Commission would cut. I will work with the Senate President and my colleagues to find the solutions to protect those very important and much-needed jobs.”

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