The Newark Star Ledger reports that the NJSEA, operators of the Meadowlands is on target to loose almost $10 million dollars this year at the Meadowlands Racetrack (plus a similar amount at Monmouth Park). More strikingly is that three years ago, the Meadowlands made about $11 million dollars. That means over a period of four years, their annual profit at the Meadowlands Racetrack dropped $21 million dollars. Now during this period, the NJSEA has opened an OTW facility in Woodridge which makes $5.6 million dollars a year plus they are making money via Internet wagering so the loss at the track is partially offset from other revenue sources. That being said, it can't be denied that things are getting gloomier at the flagship track of harness racing.
What has happened? Basically, in caving to the casino industry, the state has allowed slot players to contribute to the bottom line of the tracks (and the states) in NY and PA instead of allowing the money to stay in state. As a result, not only is the Meadowlands (and Freehold) hurting, the state being the guarantor of NJSEA debt is on the hook for the NJSEA bonds and is giving away revenue which could have been kept in state to benefit their own residents.
This is not a Democrat versus Republican issue. However, the general public needs to ask those politicians running for office this year to explain why they are catering to a casino industry at the expense of the citizens of the state of New Jersey. Bringing VLTs to the racetracks in NJ will not only benefit the racing industry, but it will benefit the taxpayers of New Jersey.
This is a point the horsemen need to communicate to the voters and the legislature.