TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senators Jim Whelan and Jeff Van Drew which would expand State support for the Atlantic City Racetrack was approved by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today by a vote of 7-5.
“While New Jersey has taken steps to improve the sustainability of casino gaming in Atlantic City, efforts to bolster the horse racing industry have been exclusive to Central and North Jersey,” said Senator Whelan, D-Atlantic, and chair of the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee. “It seems that the Atlantic City Racetrack is always an afterthought, but with a minimal investment, the racetrack can be a vital component in the gaming economic of Atlantic City. This bill ensures that, as we line up private investors to bring Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands racetracks back from the brink, that we support horse racing in South Jersey as well.”
“When you look at it, the Atlantic City Racetrack suffers as much, if not more, from the draw of racinos in Delaware as any of the other racetracks do from competing facilities outside New Jersey,” said Senator Van Drew, D-Cape May, Cumberland and Atlantic. “However, while we’ve taken steps to help the horse racing industry achieve self-sustainability, we have yet to come up with a viable plan to support the Atlantic City Racetrack. By allowing the racetrack to collect a lion’s share of the funds coming in from out-of-State simulcasting, we can put them on a level playing field as the other facilities in the State and help them to build and maintain a world-class racing facility in the southern part of the State.”