An informal poll conducted by the Hall Institute the week of Nov. 15 showed more than half would support installing slot machines at Meadowlands in New Jersey.
The Hall Institute of Public Policy describes itself as a non-partisan, not-for-profit foundation that explores social, economic, educational, and cultural issues. It has authored more than 400 papers on various topics since it was formed in 2005.
The survey was conducted during the New Jersey State League of Municipalities conference. Of the 254 people that participated, 134 supported slots at Meadowlands; 73 opposed slots, and 47 had no opinion on the issue.
The future of Meadowlands and horse racing statewide is a major issue this year in New Jersey. A commission under Republican Gov. Chris Christie has recommended further reduction in racing dates, sale of Monmouth Park to private interests, and closure of Meadowlands as a racetrack.
The racing and breeding industry, as well as some central and northern New Jersey lawmakers, prefer putting a casino at Meadowlands to generate funds for the state and the racing industry. The Atlantic City casino industry opposes such a plan.
A release from the Hall Institute said those that took part in the survey said there would be no change in where they gambled if slots were added at Meadowlands, which is located not far from New York City. Only 19 of the respondents said they would gamble less in Atlantic City, while 49 said they would do less gambling in nearby states, the survey showed.
The Hall Institute has tracked developments in the state’s gaming, professional sports, and entertainment industries since July, when the Christie commission issued its initial recommendations. George E. Hall, founder of the institute, testified at a special legislative summit meeting that addressed racing and gaming in the state.