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Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Essex), a leading advocate for video lottery terminals at the Meadowlands, released the following statement Wednesday on the New Jersey Gaming, Sports, and Entertainment Advisory Commission report:

“I call on the governor to quickly reject the recommendation to sell or close the Meadowlands race track. That recommendation is the exact opposite of what we should be doing to spark New Jersey’s economy, ease our budget problems and create jobs. The last thing we should be doing is giving up this asset. Rather, we should be exploiting its full potential and modernizing it by adding video lottery terminals to the Meadowlands. How can we walk away from an opportunity to raise up to $700 million annually and create up to 2,000 new jobs? Simply put, we cannot do so responsibly.

“At the very least the question of whether VLTs should be placed in the Meadowlands should go to the voters for their consideration. We must face the fact that partly because of the lack of a new marketing plan for Atlantic City, gamblers are already being lured away to new gaming venues in New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware. We have a responsibility to protect Atlantic City casinos, but also to do all we can to support our entire gaming industry, retain and expand the revenue it generates and, most importantly, keep that revenue here in New Jersey.”