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NJ committee approves new legislation

May 10, 2012
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Assemblyman Ron Dancer's bill permitting the lessee of the Meadowlands Racetrack to operate a simulcasting facility at the American Dream Meadowlands sports, retail and entertainment center, formerly known as Xanadu, was favorably reported out of the Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee Thursday. Dancer believes the bill will bring the excitement of horse racing to a greater audience within the Meadowlands complex.
 
Any agreement reached between Jeff Gural, the racetrack's new operator, and the Triple Five Group, owners of American Dream, would need to be approved by the New Jersey Racing Commission. The first phase of the American Dream complex is projected to open in the fall of 2013.
 
In the event an agreement is reached for simulcasting at American Dream, it would not count towards the limit of the 15 off-track wagering facilities authorized to be licensed for simulcasting under the "Off Track and Account Wagering Act.”
 
"The American Dream complex will be one of the premier sports, retail and entertainment attractions in the country, generating great interest and large crowds,” explained Dancer. "If Mr. Gural and Triple Five are able to consummate a deal, it would expose racing to a larger audience and help expand its fan base. Simulcasting races already exist at the Meadowlands Racetrack and permitting its operation at a location within the Meadowlands complex and sharing a common parking area with the racetrack is just an extension of the same wagering opportunities available at the track itself.”
 
A-332 now goes for a vote before the full Assembly.
 
Racetrack patrons would be permitted to place bets on special mobile gaming devices under legislation approved by the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee Thursday. It is sponsored by Assembly Republican Ronald S. Dancer.
 
"Smart phones and other mobile devices are so engrained in our daily lives that they seem to have become an extra appendage. Racetracks should be permitted to take advantage of the types of technology that people are so accustomed to using,” Dancer, R-Ocean, Burlington, Middlesex and Monmouth. "Allowing racetracks to keep up with the times will improve the experience for fans and help New Jersey facilities gain a competitive edge over states competing for fans.”
 
The bill, A-2610, would update the state's horse racing laws to specifically reference mobile gaming devices and give clear legal standing to their regulated use by the New Jersey Racing Commission. The devices would allow patrons to place bets and receive information about wagers, outcomes and other information about racing, such as viewing live horse races on iPads or iPhones.

The bill stipulates that the mobile gaming devices would be permitted to operate in all indoor and outdoor areas of the racetrack, including designated areas of the Meadowlands complex, such as the American Dream.

"Horse racing is one of the oldest forms of sport in the world that could benefit from a modern twist that would eliminate the decades-old practice of standing in line to place a bet and collect winnings,” Dancer said. "This would be a major innovation to wagering on horse racing and make New Jersey a model on how to utilize various forms of Internet technology in horse racing.”

A similar proposal allowing hand-held gaming devices at Atlantic City Casinos has been approved this year by committees in the Senate and Assembly. Nevada is the only other state to allow such devices in casinos. (NJ Assembly Republicans)
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