A plan to help New Jersey’s struggling horse racing industry while protecting casinos from video gambling machines at racetracks has cleared a hurdle in the state legislature.

The Assembly voted 76-0 March 13 to approve having Atlantic City casinos give $90 million over three years to support horse racing and breeding. In return, casinos get a guarantee the tracks won’t install video lottery terminals for at least three years.

The Senate is set to approve the bill March 17, and Gov. Jon Corzine supports it.

New Jersey has four racetracks: Freehold Raceway and Meadowlands, both of which are open now for harness racing; Atlantic City Race Course, which opens for a short Thoroughbred meet in late April; and Monmouth Park, whose Thoroughbred meet gets under way in May.

 

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