Burzichelli Bill to Allow for Horse Racing on Atlantic City Beach Released by Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrat John Burzichelli sponsored to further promote Atlantic City by allowing it to host horse races on the beach this October was released Monday by an Assembly panel.
The bill (A-4149) would authorize the New Jersey Racing Commission to grant a special permit, to a running race permit holder that leases a state-owned racetrack, to hold or conduct a special running race meeting on the beach.
Burzichelli said the bill would enable Atlantic City to host the American Palio Celebration.
The Atlantic City American Palio will be a series of horse races conducted on the beach in Atlantic City on Friday, Oct. 11 and Sunday, Oct . The event is an Americanization of Palio, a race in Siena, Italy, that has been run for the past 700 years. In Siena, the horses race one half mile around the Town Square, while the American version will have horses competing in the American classic distance of three-quarters of a mile on the Atlantic City beach.
American Palio will have a total of 50 horses competing in a series of elimination races that will narrow the field to the 10 runners who will race for the American Palio Championship.
“This has all the making of a fun and great event, the type of which we’ve been trying to lure to Atlantic City to highlight it as a top-flight entertainment destination,” said Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “This will attract horse fans, sports fans, families and those simply looking to see a unique event on the beach in the autumn. Changing state law to allow for this great promotion is the least we can do as we continue striving to make Atlantic City a great place to visit and spend time.”
The commission would be allowed to grant only one special permit to an eligible running race permit holder.
The number of racing days under the special permit would not exceed two in a calendar year. Any racing day that is run pursuant to the special permit would count toward the total number of racing days allotted to the running race permit holder that holds the special permit. A permit holder that is granted a special permit under the bill would be required to maintain separate books and records, and file reports and audits, for the special running race meeting to the same extent a permit holder is required to do so by law.
Sums in the parimutuel pools that result from wagering on races at the special running race meeting would be distributed as if the special running race meeting is held at the location for which the special permit holder holds a running race permit.
The bill would grant the commission the authority and discretion to promulgate rules and regulations that provide for the procedure for application for and approval of a special permit, the conditions to which a special permit holder or special running race meeting may be subject and such other matters as the commission deems appropriate.
“We can all look forward to a fun and interesting weekend in Atlantic City,” Burzichelli said. “This is all part of our overall effort to attract people to this great destination.”
The bill was released by the Assembly Budget Committee.