Why is it so important that all the gaming be located in Atlantic City? Many agree Atlantic City is an outmoded model that is no longer viable with losses mounting by the minute.
The Governor’s shackles on the equine industry have hurt many people. Often forgotten are the farmers who have downsized and/or disappeared. Valued open space is on the brink of vanishing.
Granted, things have never been easy for horse racing, but the current stranglehold the Governor has put in place on the racetracks may eventually choke the industry out of existence. New Jersey is a tiny state and all of its neighbors: New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland offer racetrack slot machines which allow racing to reap the benefits to build slot-enhanced purses and breeding programs.
To see just how fast the industry is collapsing, one simply has to look at the numbers. In the 2007 crop year, the number of registered Thoroughbred foals born in New Jersey was 401 according to The Jockey Club, the official breed registry for all Thoroughbreds in North America. By 2011 that number had dropped to 186. Mike Campbell, Executive Director of the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association of NJ has reported only 152 registered NJ-breds born in 2012 to date.
By contrast, in Pennsylvania, which allows slot machines at racetracks, the number of registered foals in 2007 was 1,432 and in 2011 was 1,140. The limited number of new foals jeopardizes the sustainability of the racing industry including jobs, further exacerbating the downward trend. New Jersey once had 340 racing days each year. In 2013 there will be just 77.
How can the Governor be so nonchalant about destroying an entire industry in New Jersey while at the same time promoting a failed Atlantic City gambling model punctuated by the Revel Casino’s imminent bankruptcy in which Christie has directly flushed away $70 million of New Jersey taxpayer funds as reported by The Wall Street Journal?
Only the Governor can answer that question.
Horsemen hope that better days will come, but the state must rush to lift the restrictions it has in place in order to provide a foundation of stability so that New Jersey can return to the high calibre of racing it once had.
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Horse News: Rocknroll Hanover dead at age 11. To read more click here.