"As a horse owner and breeder with a farm located in Atlantic County, I'm surprised that our southern New Jersey legislators don't support this proposal," said Joseph Imbesi, owner of Briardale Farm near Estell Manor. "There are acres and acres of equine-related farmland in Atlantic, Burlington, Gloucester, and Camden counties, and from Ocean County south to Cape May, Cumberland, and Salem counties."This is the farm belt, and these legislators should want to keep it this way. It angers me that they dismiss our industry because it is not as big as the casino industry."
Barbara DeMarco Reiche, lobbyist for the state's Thoroughbred industry, said that, based on the poll numbers, a ballot question should be put to voters in the November election. Recently, a spokesperson for Gov. Jim McGreevey said potential revenue from VLTs at racetracks was not being considered as part of the 2004 budget, though McGreevey had been considering VLTs to help plug a huge state budget deficit.