03/08/2012 :  HORSE RACING BODIES TAKE A MILDER LINE ON NEW JERSEY INTERNET GAMBLING PROPOSALS
 
Horseracing bodies appear have taken a deep breath before adopting a more collaborative approach
 
The news earlier this week that the horse racing industry in New Jersey was less than pleased by its exclusion from the benefits of legalised online gambling proposed in the state legislature generated considerable media interest, particularly when industry spokesmen suggested that there was the possibility of legal action.
 
The horsemen were perturbed by the changes in Sen. Ray Lesniak's bill giving control of any legalised online gambling to Atlantic City operators, and the financial implications this entails.
 
The legalization is still at the committee stage, although Sen. Lesniak appears confident that it will pass by mid-March, opening the way for regulations to be drafted and perhaps inter-state collaboration to be negotiated.
 
Later in the week the horseracing faction appeared to have reconsidered its position, adopting a more conciliatory tone, with one consultant asserting that legal action was not being seriously considered
 
“We actually ask that some consideration be given to amending the bill, tweaking it a little bit without hurting the casinos. They could allow casinos to lease gaming space from the racetracks,” Dennis Drazin said.
 
“If you allow a casino that wants to partner with the racetracks, you capture the racetrack customers who are already gambling. It allows the horsemen and the casinos to work together to benefit the state,” he said.
 
Sen. Lesniak appears comfortable with this approach, saying: “We've been speaking. I understand the angst of the horseracing industry and they understand that both the casino industry and the horseracing industry are important to the economy of the state. We'll work it out.”