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Big M lease agreement on the horizon?

December 14, 2010

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Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey president Tom Luchento confirmed to harnessracing.com Tuesday morning that an agreement is currently being worked on between the governor’s office and a group of investors and harness racing groups to lease the Meadowlands Racetrack. The track is scheduled to close its fall meet on Saturday, Dec. 18, with its January 2011 re-opening currently up in the air.
“We’re trying to get it leased; it’s a matter of dollars and cents,” said Luchento. “The governor wants us to stand on our own feet, which I understand and don’t have a problem with that. It’s the time constraint that I’m under which is very, very tight. I’m waiting on calls right now to see how fast we can put this together; they’re talking days we have to put it together. 

“If we can get this framed, then we will go forward. I think the governor’s office has been lenient enough to allow us some of the things we asked for to go along with this deal.” 

As for the gaming package that was approved by New Jersey’s State Assembly on Monday, which includes a bill that sends the question of allowing wagering on sporting events at racetracks and casinos to the voters next November and bills that allow for exchange wagering and out-of-state residents to wager on the internet on New Jersey races, Luchento said, “I think all the things are great for us, the only problem is how long will it take to get them implemented and working, since we need money right away.”
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