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Assemblyman Ralph Caputo today took Harrah’s Entertainment to task for its hypocritical decision to become a partner and take on a management role in the development of a $438 million gaming hall in Philadelphia with 1,500 slots, more than 70 table games, and several restaurants.

“Harrah’s is a hypocrite, plain and simple. They have been one of the most vocal opponents of installing video lottery terminals (VLT) to help rescue our ailing racetracks because they claim the competition would hurt Atlantic City.

“The Meadowlands is roughly 130 miles from Atlantic City and Philadelphia is a mere 60 miles away. I guess Harrah’s is fine investing in a competing market if they get a piece of the pie.

“If this is the case, why won’t Harrah’s invest in the Meadowlands or Monmouth Park as well? To rail against VLT’s in the Meadowlands because it would create competition and draw business away from Atlantic City is downright hypocritical.

“What is more disturbing is that their vocal opposition to expanding gaming in New Jersey could ultimately lead to the demise of our industry as a whole.

“Rather than let one giant control our gaming industry, this decision should be put to the voters. Ultimately, I believe Atlantic City casinos should be allowed to invest in VLT’s at our racetracks for the benefit of the industry and our taxpayers as a whole,” said Caputo (D-Essex), a member of the recently-completed Legislative Gaming Summit and the Assembly’s Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee.