BURZICHELLI, CAPUTO & WAGNER LEGISLATION TO BOOST N.J. HORSE RACING BY ALLOWING WAGERING IN TAVERNS & RESTAURANTS NOW LAW

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats John Burzichelli, Ralph Caputo and Connie Wagner sponsored to boost New Jersey’s horse racing industry by allowing wagering in taverns and restaurants has been signed into law.
The law directs the New Jersey Racing Commission to implement a pilot program for taverns, restaurants and similar establishments in the northern part of the state to provide electronic wagering terminals (A-4285). It’s sponsored by Burzichelli, Caputo (D-Essex) and Wagner (D-Bergen).
“This is a key piece in our ongoing effort to ensure New Jersey’s horse racing industry remains a strong and viable economic engine and entertainment attraction,” Burzichelli said. “This modernizes the industry and makes it easier for racing fans to place wagers while also boosting our restaurant industry. It’s a true win-win and a common sense approach to today’s consumer demands and desires for convenience and ease of access.”
“It’s 2012 now,” Caputo said. “Let’s accept that reality and do everything we can to ensure New Jersey’s racing industry isn’t stuck in the stone ages. A responsible pilot program to allow for wagering in taverns and restaurants will undoubtedly prove successful and serve as a potential boon for our racing industry. Let’s get it done.”
“We need to stay on top of the changing times and make certain our horse racing industry, so pivotal to our economic success, does the same,” Wagner said. “A responsible, well-regulated system that encourages people to enjoy horse racing in taverns and restaurants is a smart approach that can only help boost our economy. I’m confident this will prove a success.”
Under the law, the New Jersey Racing Commission will implement a pilot program to license a limited number of eligible taverns, restaurants and similar venues where food, alcoholic beverages – or both – are served to the public for on-premises consumption, in the northern part of the state to provide patrons with the ability to place wagers on horse races through electronic wagering terminals. The terminals would be subject to the commission’s regulation and control.
Each license issued under the pilot program wwill be temporary, subject to review and renewal on an annual basis, and would expire within three years of issuance of each initial license.
The law limits the pilot program to eligible venues in Bergen, Hudson, Essex, Passaic, Union, Morris, Somerset, Hunterdon, Warren and Sussex counties and northern Middlesex and Ocean counties.
Finally, it directs the commission to issue a report to the governor and to the Legislature within three years of the issuance of the first license under the pilot program. The report will contain an evaluation of the pilot program, provide the commission’s opinion as to whether the pilot program should be continued and, if so, recommendations for further improvement and implementation.
The pilot program will end upon the expiration of the last license issued under the program unless the Legislature enacts a law to continue the program.