John Brennan of The Record wrote a blog entry where he interviewed the few people in the legislature who opposed the online gaming bill. Clearly these people are the smartest people in the legislature. Here are two gems from NJ Senator Michael Doherty.
“New Jersey needs to diversify its gambling locations like other states have done, like Pennsylvania,” Doherty said. “We still have the same model, thinking it’s still the 1970s. We’re bending over backwards to try to help Atlantic City, when the model needs to change. The horse is out of the barn – there are casinos everywhere.
“We need to open casinos at the Meadowlands, Monmouth Park, Freehold – are you’d kidding me, we’d blow away Yonkers,” Doherty said, after noting that Yonkers Raceway – with 5,000+ slot machines – has been sending as much money to Albany as all 12 Atlantic City casinos send to Trenton.”
The clincher? “I’m not even a big fan of gambling – but I don’t like stupid policies".
Someone quick, recruit him to run for Governor. Forget about the fact he would help horse racing, he makes sense, something those doing the bidding of special interests don't.
Those were the days, when racing was the only game in town. If you have some grey hairs on your head (assuming you still have hair), you probably remember the good old days at Roosevelt Raceway and Yonkers Raceway when Saturday night the place was jumping. In some ways the worst thing that could happen was you won a race; by the time you collected your wager, the next race likely went off without you placing a bet. To successfully collect and wager, you needed to be a tag team, one to go make the bets, the other to collect; both wearing sneakers because you ran to the windows.
The first turn at Roosevelt Raceway in its heyday. This photo was recovered from a dumpster when the Raceway was being demolished. While not sure, it is believed that the original photographer was Mike Lizzi.
Well, those days will never return, except perhaps on a special day such as the Hambletonian, but over all, tracks don't need more than 2,000 seats to serve the clientele on any given day. It will be the rare track like Scioto Downs where Ohioans still consider horses part of their lives which will get large crowds but for other tracks, the reality is the track will have the fans and those looking for a night out; your whales will be likely wagering from the comfort of their living room. That being said, just because most of your money will be coming from elsewhere, there still is a need to make the track a place to come to. After all, where else are most people going to get their initial exposure to horses?