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NJ bill passes to allow transition period

February 18, 2011

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A bill that will allow the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority to help operate the Meadowlands Racetrack during a one-year transition period with possible lessee Jeff Gural reportedly easily passed the New Jersey legislature on Thursday. Also approved were bills that reduced the required racing dates at the Meadowlands and Freehold to 75, but horsemen’s groups would still have to grant approval of any dates.

Also, a 2001 bill that authorizes up to 15 off-track wagering sites in the state passed unanimously in both chambers with some modifications put in by Gov. Chris Christie. Christie had conditionally vetoed that bill last month, but his new revisions include allowing sites such as restaurants to offer off-track wagering. The bill also contains language that would remove permits for the 12 remaining open off-track licenses if there is no progress in construction.

Another provision that was removed the off-track operates to pay one percent of profits to the host municipalities.

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