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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Indiana Steps Up

- Indiana has taken the step of barring any trainer who has been suspended for 15 days or more from transferring his/her horses to any "relative, assistant, employee, or household member." [Daily Racing Form]

The regulations ensure that trainer suspensions are meaningful and not cosmetic, said Joe Gorajec, the commission’s executive director. The betting public should be assured that a trainer is not involved with his or her stable while serving a suspension, he said.
“In some jurisdictions, these suspensions have become a joke. The suspended trainer has unfettered access,” Gorajec said. “It just makes a sham of the whole transaction. This rule stops that practice.” [Bloodhorse]
The idea of the rule being too harsh on owners was brought up by the horsemen, but Gorajec said "the commission didn't believe that the argument was compelling in all cases." They did compromise however by establishing the 15-day minimum. They're the first state to impose this kind of ban, and perhaps some jurisdiction needed to break the ice before others will follow. As I've said before, it seems to me like a worthy attempt to put some teeth into the suspensions, while limiting the damage to owners who may be innocent (and I guess also to those who are not).

- The New York Times reported on the front page on Monday (here via the Int'l Herald Tribune, no reg req.) that gambling revenues in Atlantic City are poised to decrease from last year, the first time that has ever happened since casinos opened there 1977. And guess what is being blamed?
One culprit can be found 77 miles, or 124 kilometers, away at the Philadelphia Park Casino, a low-frills slot parlor that opened in December amid the chain restaurants of Bensalem, Pennsylvania. There, on a sunny Sunday afternoon, sat Ron Thomas, 72, who would agree to talk only if it did not interfere with his simultaneous play of a pair of $5 Double Diamond slot machines.

"The wife and I, we went to Atlantic City around once a month for years," said Thomas, a retiree who lives in Churchville, Pennsylvania. "But this place, we're 10 minutes away."

Why would he ever return to Atlantic City, Thomas asked, when it would require a 90-minute car ride "to do exactly what we can do here?"
There's also Yonkers and the racino at Chester Downs, which is owned and run by Harrah's, which therefore competes with its own property in Atlantic City. The article says that Atlantic City sees the proposed Indian casino in the Catskills as its greatest threat, but there's also Aqueduct (one of these days) and the two casinos slated to go up in Philadelphia.

Thus one can see how the Meadowlands is caught in a vise here. The track is already severely hurt by the competition from Yonkers, and has cut back its live racing to four days a week. It's obvious that Atlantic City interests will never accede to allowing slots at the Meadowlands (as hypocritical as that may be for Harrah's), or Monmouth for that matter, and that the influential South Jersey legislative contingent will always work against the idea.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Pennsylvania's tax revenues for the month of February (28 days/snow)was over $167 million.

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