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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Christie Losing Faith

I know I said I was not going to right anymore about the Meadowlands until a decision was made but a new story has come out indicating Governor Christie is losing faith that a Meadowlands deal will get done.

According to the report, when asked about the chances of a deal being made, the Governor stated: We might. I’m not anticipating that we will. We’re still working.” 

You can't blame the Governor for thinking this way.  It certainly will be a photo finish to cut a deal in time as the teller's union is voting tomorrow night.  If the deal falls through, the Meadowlands presumably will remain closed until late July when it opens for a one week Hambletonian festival meet at which time the future of the Meadowlands will be in greater doubt.  At that point, the NJSEA can be ordered to move in the wrecking balls, or perhaps someone else will attempt to come in and save the Meadowlands.  Maybe Gural will make another attempt at a later time, but that assumes the Governor still has a willingness to lease the Meadowlands.  By the time someone decides to try again, Atlantic City may be in even greater distress and the Governor may not be interested in leasing the track out as it would require racing to get a share.

A yes vote means a deal can get done now.  A no vote, puts the whole future of  the Meadowlands at risk.

Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail.


The_Knight_Sky said...

>> Maybe Gural will make another attempt at a later time, but that assumes the Governor still has a willingness to lease the Meadowlands.

I do not see how Jeff Gural will come back with another offer. This is it.

As a successful business person he's had plenty of time to figure out what it will take to make the Big M a self-sufficient racetrack. I'm sure he's factored in losses for the first year or two of the lease deal.

But I don't think anyone wants to go in with the same high-salaried positions on the payroll. His Tioga Downs has a future because he's in control there with Mr. Settlemoir. He doesn't have that flexibility in East Rutherford. Overhead and salaries need to be addressed as it is "the" crucial point.

Pacingguy said...

I'm trying to come up with some ideas to punish the tellers if they vote no. First of all, a lot of them wouldn't work until August for a week but for those still around for simulcasting. Here are some options, though likely not workable:

1. Boycott the Meadowlands for simulcasting - Unlikely to get some of the hard core older gamblers to follow along. Plus, it would reduce the amount of money other harness tracks would make from wagering at the Meadowlands on their races.

2. A Use the Machine Movement - By getting as many people as possible to use the automated teller machines, they would need less tellers working each shift. Problem there is the older gamblers are not likely to switch over to the machines.

3. Harness tracks could cut their signal off from the Meadowlands as some tracks did at Rockingham when they stopped racing. Only problem is it would hurt harness tracks still racing because they would not get Meadowlands wagering. Also, thoroubhred tracks would continue to simulcast.

The one intersting thing is that the Woodbridge Favorites may have to close if the Meadowlands doesn't race at least 75 days; at least until ownership of Favorites is transferred over to the new operator of Monmouth. All it would require is the horsemen to enforce their rights. Of course, if they do that they would possibly be ticking off the Governor.

Anonymous said...

The APP is reporting that Christie et al and Gural met for three hours on Wednesday

They are haggling over the simulcast is the largest volume simo facility in the country. I have a hunch this whole thing won't be over for awhile.

Pacingguy said...

Well, he has to negotiate with both at same time. Time is running out. I do believe today is the deadline for this year. However, there is nothing to say it is the final act.