Now that the state has gotten rid of their two racetracks, Governor Christie is determined to make sure racing gets no help despite the attempt of the state to introduce new competition for racing. This time, an ally of racing is happy to oblige him.
The Courier Post reports that State Senator Lesniak is prepared to re-introduce in November his legislation to introduce intra-state internet gambling to the Garden State. This legislation was vetoed by the Governor citing two issues; the concern that so-called internet gambling cafes could be established all over the state of New Jersey and the fact some of the revenue would have gone to racing. Senator Lesniak has capitulated to the Governor on these two facts so racing will not be able to profit at all from a new source of gambling in the state despite it not being allowed to develop new gambling games itself. Rest assured Atlantic City will be profiting from this attempt to bring the casino to the residents of New Jersey.
Of course racing will have their hands tied opposing this legislation. It is a safe bet that some group will fight the constitutionality of this bill, claiming it is an expansion of casino gambling outside of Atlantic City (the state is planning to have the servers in Atlantic City to get around this issue). Should the racetracks side with such groups it runs a risk of having the state deny racetracks a racino when it finally realizes it needs to recoup the money it is forfeiting to New York. Should the racetracks sit aside and not oppose the legislation, there will be another form of gambling for racing to compete against. It is imperative should some group challenge the constitutionality of such legislation that New Jersey horsemen independently contribute funds to such groups challenging the legislation.
Now that the state has gotten rid of its racing assets, they have no problem changing the dynamics racing must operate under. It is one thing when private industry competes against racing; it's another thing for the state to compete against an industry it regulates and denies them the ability to compete. Horsemen must stand up to Governor Christie. The question is will they?