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Friday, December 21, 2012

NJ Senate Votes to Hurt Racing. The Governor to the Rescue?

As expected, the NJ Senate has approved the legislation for Internet Gaming.  With the General Assembly already passing the legislation, the bill moves on to the Governor's Office for Governor Christie's signature or veto.  Obviously, the racing industry is hoping for a veto.   Of course, if the legislation is vetoed, it will be only for fears of running afoul of constitutional issues, not because of the damage it may do to racing.

This bill shows how state legislatures are against racing.  While in New Jersey there have been a few technical changes made to benefit racing, the truth is they are contributing to racing's decline.  With this bill, the legislature is seeking to open a new form of gaming to the casino industry in an effort to strengthen it, all while not allowing the racing industry to introduce any new forms of gaming exclusive of the casino industry. 

When you think of it, sports wagering is a natural extension of horse racing as it is wagering on sporting events.  What sport is the casino industry taking wagers on presently in New Jersey?  None.  Allowing the casino industry access to sports wagering is, despite what some may argue is, a foray into a totally new sector.  If the same expansion of gaming logic applied to Internet gaming was applied to sports wagering, it would be the exclusive purview of racing.

Of course, this is academic at present as New Jersey's law allowing sports wagering is currently tied up in court (a decision is expected today, but let's not kid ourselves, it will be appealed no matter how it is decided). 

Scott Zeron has decided not to move to the Meadowlands at the start of the meet, deciding to wait until the start of April when changes are expected at WEG because the end of the Slots At Racetracks program.  Of course, the decision to remain in Canada is Zeron's alone to make but he risks other drivers getting hot, taking the drives he may have gotten.  Of course, if there is some reprieve from the provincial government's decision, Zeron could remain in Canada.  I just don't see it happening.  Waiting is merely delaying the inevitable which may cost him in the long run.

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