Bill to Authorize Lease of Jersey Tracks Progresses

The New Jersey Senate Wagering, Tourism, and Historic Preservation Committee on June 7 approved a bill that would permit the state to lease Monmouth Park and Meadowlands, two racetracks operated by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.

Gannett news service reported the vote was unanimous. The measure now heads to the Senate for consideration.

The state has considered leasing the tracks for some time. The plan was moving forward until it was discovered action by the legislature was required for the tracks, both of which are profitable, to be leased or sold.

The bill would authorize the NJSEA to maintain its role as a coordinating entity for off-track wagering and account wagering in the state, Gannett reported. The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association told the news service a consortium comprised of the current management team and casinos, or a "proven racing organization" and casinos, would be the best scenario.

The NJSEA also operates Giants Stadium and Continental Airlines Arena at Meadowlands. It also has managed projects at the state aquarium in Camden, the convention center in Atlantic City, and the Rutgers University football stadium.