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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Anti-Meadowlands Casino Side Starting to Crumble?

Could time be running out on Atlantic City's monopoly in New Jersey?  According to The Record, politicians on both sides of the aisle are starting to see Atlantic City's situation as being hopeless and unless Atlantic City starts showing some positive results and soon, the pro-AC sentiment within the legislature may begin to crumble.

Of course this doesn't mean it's time to start building the slot parlor in the Meadowlands; far from it.  First of all the Governor and Senate President need to evolve on the issues; especially the President as he decides which bills get posted for a vote in the state Senate.

The assumption has always been a new casino would come to the Meadowlands and as of now it is the leading candidate.  However Monmouth Park has been quietly lobbying for a casino as well.  A casino in an entertainment district makes perfect sense, but who is to say the Essex County delegation which holds significant sway in the legislature won't seek casino gaming in Newark?  Any new gaming in New Jersey requires a constitutional amendment and the more possible locations listed in a new constitutional amendment, the harder it will be to get an amendment through the referendum process

Meanwhile, on the racing front last evening, it was a hot sultry night at the Meadowlands and it resulted in the tying of the all-time world record for the fastest mile ever raced in the sport with Warrawee Needy pacing a 1:46.4 mile in his elimination of the William R. Haughton Memorial.

Here is a case where racing at four is helping a horse for last year was not the year people thought Warrawee Needy had the potential for.  This race will help him greatly at stud.  The same may be said for Sweet Lou who won his elimination of the Haughton as well. 

As for the final next week, can a new world record be set?  It isn't likely as this heat wave is due to break by then. 

The Meadowlands Pace elimination was contested last night as well with Sunshine Beach winning in 1:48.  The field for the Meadowlands Final with early driver assignments (changes will be made) and morning line is:

  1 Odds On Equuleus (Campbell, 4-1)
  2 Sunshine Beach (Brennan, 3-1)
  3 Resistance Futile (Pierce,20-1)
  4 Twilight Bonfire (TBD, 8-1)
  5 Captaintreacherous (Tetrick, 6-5)
  6 Sir Cary's Z Tam (P. Lachance, 30-1)
  7 Johny Rock (A. Miller, 20-1)
  8 Beach Memories (D. Miller, 5-1)
  9 Wake Up Peter (Pierce, 10-1)
10 Rockin Amadeus (Gingras,15-1)

For those interested, here is a replay of the RUS events at Hanover and Saratoga Raceways last evening.


Blaine said...

Slots at the Meadowlands is bad news for Chester, Pocono and Yonkers as well as PA and NY. It'll increase the purse structure, make for larger fields and definitely increase the handle. The state of New Jersey will win on multiple fronts. I hope it happens.

riceownz2 said...

It is really nice to see the RUS races becoming more competitive and more of the horses making it to the starting gate. I really hope to see more of these races at tracks all over North America.

Went to Back to the Track on Saturday. I miss the tracks having the odd distance races as a part of the program. It added more excitement to the races.

Anonymous said...

If the State decides to allow a casino at The Meadowlands, what guarantee, if any, is there that the horsemen will get a cut? Is there anything stopping the State from simply allowing a stand alone hotel/casino that offers no benefit to Mr. Gural or the horsemen? Is there something in writing, or is it just assumed that the existing racetrack will get a cut of any future casino? Does anybody know for sure?

Pacingguy said...

I understand the concern some have about what happens if a casino opens at the Meadowlands. There was an agreement made with thoroughbred interests regarding what percentage of the slot revenue would go to the other breed if a casino opened at the Meadowlands and Monmouth. I am pretty sure the state would not allow a casino to open without a percentage going to horsemen.

As to guarantees, ask Ontario horsemen what good a guarantee is.

Anonymous said...

As shaky as a "guarantee" can prove to be, does the Meadowlands even have that? Realistically, why would the state of New Jersey need to include the horsemen in any future casino venture? Why wouldn't/couldn't they just offer the casino to the highest bidder, regardless of whether racing was a component?

Pacingguy said...

Well, if I recall correctly (emphasis on correctly), the lease agreement allows Gural to drop the lease and be reimbursed for costs if a Meadowlands casino is given to someone else.

There is a general understanding that a Meadowlands Casino would go to Gural. The horsemen will get a share though admittedly, the SBOANJ and NJTHA are presently not thrilled with the initial proposal.

Blaine said...

There isn't a state that allows for casino gaming at racetracks that doesn't require a percentage for purses. New York racetracks have been eating the best steaks in NYC since October 2011 when Aqueduct opened the casino. As long as everybody gets a fair cut there should more than enough money for everybody be happy.

Anonymous said...

Blaine -- New York horsemen are very fortunate that they had Joe Faraldo negotiating the original contracts outlining the percentage that would be earmarked for them. From the beginning, their deal has been excellent, and has withstood the test of time. The horsemen of New Jersey may not be as lucky (even if they ever do get casino revenue) as Mr. Gural has floated a pretty meager offer should that day ever come. One might also note that Faraldo has recently assembled the Empire State Harness Horsemen Alliance, a large group attempting to protect the percentage horsemen would receive should table games be added to the existing slots. Gural has made it known that he opposes sharing any of those revenues with the horsemen.

Pacingguy said...

First of all, let me say Joe Faraldo has done a very good job for New York Horsemen; that can't be disputed. That being said, it certainly helps that he is the President of the SOANY which means he has been blessed with being the first racino in the NYC market which helps. That being said, it remains to be seen if he is able to get horsemen table game revenue.

I am not defending the Gural offer, but one must also note it is not just a question of Gural and the horsemen sharing slot revenue; the slot revenue must also be shared with his private investors and the thoroughbred horsemen at Monmouth as well as the standardbred horsemen at the Meadowlands and likely Freehold. Simply put, the pot must be split in smaller portions.