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NJ voters soundly defeat casino question

November 09, 2016

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New Jersey voters on Election Day resoundingly defeated a ballot proposal that would have approved two new casinos outside of Atlantic City with at least two percent of the revenues earmarked for horse racing in the Garden State.

With 93 percent of the precincts reporting as of Wednesday morning, 2,199,981—78 percent—voted against the proposal, while 632,287—22 percent—said yes.

While opposition to the proposal reportedly spent more than $21 million in campaigning right up until Nov. 8, the Our Turn NJ campaign that supported the proposal suspended its campaign several weeks earlier, which to most observers appeared to be a flag of surrender. Even a last-minute agreement announced the night before the election between Meadowlands' owner Jeff Gural with the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association—which had been opposed to the proposal—was nowhere enough to turn the tide.

"We are disappointed, but not surprised, by tonight's result," Gural and Paul Fireman, founders of Our Turn NJ, said afterward in a joint statement. "We have seen for some time now that the people of New Jersey were unhappy with the lack of details on this issue. We do not view the failure to pass Question #1 as a rejection of gaming expansion, but as a rejection of our state's current political climate and a failure to have all the facts presented to them."

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