Tuesday September 10,2013 : ATLANTIC CITY BETTING APPROVED FOR ANCIENT RACE RECREATION
US version of 700-year-old horse race to be run on the beach.
The concerns of Far Hills, New Jersey residents on the impact of legalised horse race betting on the beaches of Atlantic City appear to have been assuaged, with state governor Chris Christie approving bill A4149 Monday, a new law permitting the recreation on Atlantic City beaches of the Palio – a 700-year-old Italian horse race still celebrated annually in Siena, where horses race around the town square supported by crowds and pageantry.
The bill originally included a second beach race in North Jersey and was approved by both the Assembly and Senate in June this year. However, it was conditionally vetoed by Gov. Christie, prompting legislators to remove the North Jersey race element before pushing the law through the state Legislature again.
The new bill also allows punters to wager on the annual Far Hills Race Meeting, which raises money for the Somerset Medical Center's cancer center each fall.
Titled the American Palio Celebration, the inaugural three-quarter mile AC beach race will take place over the weekend October 11-13 and betting will be permitted.
50 horses will initially compete in elimination heats aimed at distilling the field down to just 10 horses for the main race
Legislators hope that the race will attract visitors to Atlantic City and help boost betting revenues. Atlantic City officials have promised a family friendly beach atmosphere with tiered seating set against the backdrop of the ocean.