OurTurnNJ.com – Vote Yes on November 8th
for the Constitutional Amendment to Permit Casino Gaming in North Jersey and at
New Jersey residents have
an important decision to make on November 8. Earlier this year the State
Legislature approved placing a constitutional amendment on November's ballot
that would expand gaming to northern New Jersey. If New Jersey voters approve
gaming expansion, billions of dollars can be recaptured, providing funding for
programs critical to our seniors and those with disabilities, new revenue that
will ease the burden of our taxpayers, thousands of jobs can be created, and
all the while reviving the equine industry as well as preserving the vital open
space areas especially in hugely agricultural Monmouth County.
According to Al Ochsner,
Executive Administrator of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of
New Jersey located in Manalapan, Monmouth County, "Seventy-six percent of
those polled admitted they knew little or nothing about the ramifications of
the referendum issue and just how the expansion of casino gaming from embattled
Atlantic City would benefit the open space preservation program."
Mark Ford, President of
the New Jersey Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association, explained that
"The Meadowlands, once the world capitol of harness racing, is no longer
able to compete on an equal basis with racetracks in neighboring states in
terms of purse offerings even though The Meadowlands totally outdistances those
tracks in attendance and betting handle but in this the Racino Age, it's still
The once thriving horse
racing industry in New Jersey has fallen on hard times with neighboring states
like Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York all having acquired casino
gaming at their racetracks. At one point, the Upper Freehold area of Monmouth
County was a replica of the famed Bluegrass Region in Kentucky with horse farms
that attracted international commerce and tourism to the area especially during
the Haskell-Hambletonian festival week at Monmouth Racetrack and The
It is difficult for New
Jersey to compete with purse structures of those racetracks with casino gaming.
In the past six years alone total racing purses for horse racing have dropped
nearly 50 percent. Despite the declining trend New Jersey horse racing still
supports more than 14,000 jobs although a significant number of jobs have been
lost due to New Jersey's inability to compete on a level field with the
neighboring casino states. Gaming expansion will put New Jersey back in contention
with neighboring states.
Should the casino
expansion referendum fail, more than just the equine industry as a whole will
suffer further. According to Dr. Karyn Malinowski, Director of the Rutgers
Equine Science Center, "The high level of veterinary, farrier and feed and
supply stores that New Jersey horse owners have available will dwindle, because
the primary economic flow to these businesses is the racing industry. A
percentage of the pari-mutuel handle from racing is allocated but not limited
to the following entities: Horse Park of New Jersey, the New Jersey Equine
Advisory Board and 4-H Youth Development programs. Thus there will be no
allocated money for these programs and there will be little incentive for young
people to enter what was a thriving field of endeavor."
Anthony Perretti, Chairman
of Trot Pac, New Jersey's Political Action Committee, illustrated how "the
Rutgers Equine Science Center report valued the annual economic impact of the
equine industry to the State of New Jersey at $1.1 billion -- much of which
would be lost if the November referendum fails to pass."
New Jersey's open space
and additional agricultural industries receive major contributions from the
equine industry. If the referendum fails, the equine industry will fail, resulting
in a major rise of development and congestion and further decline to our
precious open space areas.
It is imperative for the
sake of our Garden State that New Jersey residents vote "YES" to the
casino expansion referendum this November.
For more information visit:
www.OurTurnNJ.com and www.trotpac.org
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