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By ARep | July 15th, 2014 - 2:54pm
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Casagrande Bill a Trifecta for Horse Racing, Casinos and Open Space

Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande has signed on as a prime sponsor of legislation that will benefit the horseracing and casino industries in New Jersey while providing money for open space.

“The horse racing and casino industries are equally important to New Jersey,” said Casagrande, R-Monmouth. “This bill will bolster both industries while creating a stable source of funding for open space preservation without raising taxes.”

The measure, A-3194, authorizes slot machine gambling to be conducted at horse racetracks and dedicates a share of the revenues for open space preservation.

It directs the Division of Gaming Enforcement to establish and oversee slot machine gambling operations at horse racetracks. The revenues generated would be equitably distributed to the horse racing industry and casino licensees in accordance with a developed formula. The state’s share of revenues would be dedicated for open space preservation. Voter approval is required for the bill to be implemented.

“Our horseracing industry has been hit hard by competition from our neighboring states that have built elaborate facilities which offer racing as well as slot machines. It is way past time for us to fight back and keep these gaming dollars in New Jersey,” said Casagrande, who noted that the horseracing industry is crucial to the state’s economy.

The Garden State’s horse farms support several other businesses, from tack and feed shops to veterinary practices. A Rutgers Equine Science Center study shows the horse industry contributes $1.1 billion to New Jersey’s economy annually, with nearly 13,000 jobs generated.

Casagrande sponsors the bill with Assembly Republicans Ron Dancer and Declan O’Scanlon.

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