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NJ to consider agreement

July 21, 2004

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The Bloodhorse reports that the New Jersey Racing Commission expects to consider a "participation agreement" for distribution of revenue from account and off-track wagering at an Aug. 18 meeting at which the stakeholders are expected to apply for a license to begin account betting.

The stakeholders include the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which operates the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park; Pennwood Racing, which owns Freehold Raceway; and Greenwood Racing, which owns Atlantic City Race Course. The NJSEA will handle the account wagering application for all the parties.

According to Dennis Dowd, vice president of off-track wagering and account wagering for the NJSEA and a member of the board, the New Jersey Account Wagering Operating Board was formed at a meeting July 16. Other members are chairman Bruce Garland, senior vice president of racing for the NJSEA; Chris McErlean, general manager at the Meadowlands; Don Codey, general manager of Freehold Raceway; and Hal Handel, chief executive officer of Greenwood Racing.

Dowd said the stakeholders would apply for a license in the hope of having computer-based account wagering with video streaming ready by mid-October. After that, voice and touch applications would be added, followed by a system whereby live operators would take calls.

"It's our desire to be up and running by the (Oct. 30) Breeders' Cup," Dowd said. "Our goal is to get (the complete system in place) in nine months."

Dowd said the off-track betting system will take more time, given local government approvals and applications for liquor licenses in various municipalities. He said the NJSEA plans to apply for three parlors at one time, "but I would love to have one OTB up and running at this time next year, hopefully sooner�, he added.

New Jersey Racing Commission executive director Frank Zanzuccki said the panel would hold public hearings in municipalities tabbed by the racing associations as locations for OTB parlors. Zanzuccki said the hearings are part of the approval process.
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