East Rutherford, NJ - Meadowlands Statement on Simulcasting Dispute
As the simulcasting dispute between Monarch Management and the Mid-Atlantic Co Op enters its fourth month, we wanted to update our fans and bettors on recent developments.
In 2011 when the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park were privatized, we hired Monarch Management to handle our import and export simulcasting agreements. In today’s world, it’s almost a necessity for a track to be part of a larger group or co-op such as Monarch, Churchill, or Mid-Atlantic to have any negotiation leverage when it comes to simulcast host fees. With the exception of NYRA, almost every track is part of a larger group simply because they don’t generate enough handle to have any pricing input.
Monarch and their management team have represented us in a competent, professional manner over the past few years and we have a strong relationship with them.
We felt it reasonable that tracks pay a little bit more for our signal since (a) we do not have slots and (b) offer the number one harness signal with the largest pools from a wagering standpoint in North America. It’s our understanding that the Monarch/Mid-Atlantic dispute is no longer about host fee rates. The issue is an in-state conflict in Maryland between Rosecroft Raceway operated by Penn Gaming which is the largest member of Mid-Atlantic, and the Maryland Jockey Club operated by the Stronach Group which is Monarch. We felt the Maryland issue did not involve Meadowlands in any way nor should harness racing fans and players be impacted by it.
Earlier this week, Meadowlands instructed Monarch to offer the Mid-Atlantic a separate deal for us in an effort to get the Meadowlands harness signal back in their network of tracks. The Mid-Atlantic executive committee rejected that offer.
Most of the major players wagering significant dollars play through ADW’s because of generous rebate structures. The people that are hurt by this dispute are the harness racing fans who enjoy watching and wagering on the Meadowlands product at places like a Northfield Park in Ohio, in the State of Delaware, or at a Mohegan Sun Pocono OTW in Pennsylvania. This dispute has certainly cost the Meadowlands some revenue but, unfortunately, it’s also cost us the goodwill and support of many loyal fans over the years who wager at the impacted locations. That’s the real shame.
If you feel strongly about the situation, please let your respective track or wagering facility know and ask them to press for a solution to this issue.