Well, maybe we had State Senators Sweeney and Whelan pegged wrong. No, they are not changing their tune on VLTs, but Senate President Sweeney has gone on record as saying the state Senate will not take action on revamping gaming in Atlantic City without a plan to save the horse racing industry. As for Whelan who represents Atlantic City, he is quoted as saying he doesn't want to be hostile to the racing industry.
This must come as welcome relief to the beleaguered industry. No, it is not "put VLTs in the Meadowlands" or an endorsement for subsidies, but it suggests the Gaming Summit kicking off Friday in Atlantic City will not be an opportunity for the casino industry to throw dirt on the grave of horse racing; there appears to be a willingness to work with the horse industry. Of course, action speaks louder than words. The proof will be what comes out of the summit's two sessions.
So what have you done to help racing in New Jersey? If you are an industry insider, have you made plans to attend the opening session of the Gaming Summit in Atlantic City on Friday? Yes, there will be a second session at the Meadowlands down the road, but the show of visible support tomorrow is essential. If you value racing in New Jersey, be it standardbred or thoroughbred, you need to be there.
But showing your support tomorrow is not enough. If you are making a living in standardbred racing, you need to make a contribution to TrotPac, the PAC which represents harness racing in New Jersey. It is a fact of life that money talks in politics; without the financial resources to lobby the legislature, racing's message will not be heard. If you are involved with racing in New Jersey, isn't it time to reinvest in yourself?
If you race outside of New Jersey you should be supporting TrotPac as well. Your financial well-being depends on the Meadowlands as well. After all, how much of your track's purse account is generated by patrons at your facility wagering on the Meadowlands product? There is no guarantee the money wagered at your facility on the Meadowlands' product will be finding its way to your local product if the Meadowlands ceases to exist. You can visit the TrotPac website for more information on how to make a contribution online.
Don't assume things will work out or the situation is hopeless. You can have an impact on what is happening in New Jersey.