Whoopee Do! Monmouth Park Horsemen announced last night its support for Proposition 1 on the New Jersey Ballot, the one which allows the expansion of casino gaming outside of Atlantic City. This support comes after a deal was reached between Jeff Gural and the NJ Thoroughbred horsemen on the division of revenue should the Meadowlands get gaming.
I wonder if everyone involved looked at the calendar? Coming to a deal the night before the vote is meaningless, especially when one considers it is just a question of how badly the referendum is defeated. If there was any chance this development was going to be a factor, it had to happen much earlier in the campaign season.
Anyway, the deal calls for Gural to give $30 million a year to be split evenly between the two breeds for purses and gives Monmouth Park an additional $5 million towards their operating expense. Lastly, Gural would contribute $2 million a year towards converting the main track for thoroughbred racing starting in 2019.
Shame on the thoroughbred horsemen for withholding their support until it became meaningless. I realize it is all about negotiating the best deal possible but their support shouldn't have been predicated on Gural putting more on the table. I understand the need to get a concrete deal in place but it could have been done after (if) the referendum passed. After all, a refusal to come to an agreement before licensing was granted, would have been an opportunity to derail a Meadowlands' licensing bid if necessary.
Here is an election prediction: This deal is going to be gathering dust, at least for two more years.