Some people have been wondering why I have not discussed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's recent statements which have provided wiggle room regarding his previous position of no VLTs at the Meadowlands. The reason I have not discussed this possibility is simple. It is not going to happen. Even if Governor Christie were to come out for VLTs, the bill will never see the light of day. Why? The Senate President, Democrat Stephen Sweeney has stated he will not post a bill permitting slot machines outside of Atlantic City. Sweeney also indicated his belief that the casino industry should not subsidize racing.
In hindsight, one must wonder if horse racing made a mistake in supporting Governor Christie for election instead of then Governor Corzine. If the election for Governor was done in a vacuum, the choice to support Christie may have been correct; I myself believe Governor Christie does want a strong racing industry, albeit 'self sustaining'. The problem is the gubernatorial election was not done in a vacuum. If Corzine had won, the legislative leadership would likely have remained intact. With the Democratic defeat at the polls, it induced a coup in the legislature leadership. The Democrats unseated a friend of racing (Richard Cody) as Senate President and replaced him with a staunch opponent of racing, Stephen Sweeney. For those who were looking for VLTs to come to the Meadowlands, could it be by winning the battle, they lost the war?