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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Poll NJ Racing Didn't Want to See

According to John Brennan of The Record, a recent FDU poll shows by a margain of 56%-36%, New Jersey residents are actually opposed to the expansion of casino gaming in the Garden State outside of Atlantic City.  In some ways this is surprising but in other ways not. 

Why should NJ residents want more casinos?  After all someone in Bergen or Passaic County can just head over to  Yonkers Raceway to play the slots and someone out in the western counties can head over to Mount Airy or Bethlehem and get their casino fix.  Looking simply at the availability of casino gaming, why would someone want more casinos?

Of course, there will be conflicting polls.  I suggest if a poll question (albeit it leading but accurate), "Millions of dollars in tax revenue are flowing across state borders by New Jersey residents playing casino games in surrounding states.  Should casino gambling be expanded in the state of New Jersey to bring those millions of dollars in revenue back into the Garden State?" was asked, the numbers could easily be reversed. 

I still feel it is a matter of time for casino gaming to come at a minimum to the Meadowlands but rest assured Atlantic City supporters will be quoting this FDU poll for as long as possible, the same way racing interests will be trying to minimize its importance.

Assuming Mitt Romney doesn't win the presidency and offer Governor Christie a cabinet post which he accepts, pro-gaming supporters will have a tough tango to play next year.  The key to getting gaming in the Meadowlands is by getting a change in the statehouse leadership as well as a change in the Governor's manision and this is where it gets dicey.  The Governor has shown through his bashing of the teacher's union that he is capable of political payback.  Oppose the Governor and expect no favors from him in the next four years.  If racing interests plan on attacking the Governor, they better make sure they can get him defeated; something I am not sure is possible.

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