Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Racetrack Announces Partner for a Casino

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Racetrack Announces Partner for a Casino

Article excerpt

Hard Rock Casino Meadowlands -- a partnership between the Florida- based gambling company and The Meadowlands Racetrack -- is the name of a proposed new casino that will be unveiled next week, track operator Jeff Gural said Tuesday.

The announcement will come about a month before a deadline for state election officials to approve a question for the November ballot on ending Atlantic City's casino monopoly in New Jersey. State Senate President Stephen Sweeney said last July that he would seek to place such a referendum on the November 2015 ballot because the deadline to add it to the November 2014 ballot had just passed.

But three weeks ago, Sweeney said he was considering whether to wait a year, until the 2016 general election, given the low turnout expected with only Assembly members up for statewide election this fall.

"We believe that expanding gaming to North Jersey will strengthen the state's casino industry, boost the economy and help Atlantic City's financial recovery, but there is no specific timetable at this point," said Richard McGrath, Sweeney's spokesman.

Gural and other North Jersey casino supporters, however, say the ailing horse racing and Atlantic City casino industries cannot wait any longer to benefit from shares of an estimated $400 million or more in annual tax revenues that could be raised from operation of a Meadowlands casino.

"We're offering to pay a high tax rate, around 50 percent, just like Pennsylvania," Gural said, adding that the new casino would be attached to the 2-year-old grandstand near Paterson Plank Road. "I know there are people who think we'd just be building 'slots in a box,' but this is a spectacular project and I want them to see what we have in mind."

The renderings and video of the proposal are to be shown at a press conference next Wednesday at the new grandstand. …

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