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Racing Commission Proposes Amendments, New Rules Governing Off-Track and Account Wagering

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TRENTON – The New Jersey Racing Commission has proposed amendments and new rules governing off-track wagering and account wagering that would establish, among other things, benchmarks for determining the progress of planned off-track wagering facilities.

The proposed amendments and new rules pertain to various sections of N.J.A.C 13:74, and are consistent with 2011 legislative amendments to the State’s Off-Track and Account Wagering Act.

The legislative amendments were designed to encourage development of additional off-track wagering centers throughout New Jersey. Currently there are four such facilities in the state. They are located in Bayonne, Woodbridge, Toms River and Vineland.

The proposed amendments and new rules would require any racetrack permit holder that has applied for an off-track wagering license to “make progress on an annual basis” in establishing each planned off-track wagering facility.

Among other requirements, the permit holder would be responsible for demonstrating that a proposed off-track wagering facility is in a suitable location, and that the permit holder has either obtained fee title ownership of the proposed property, or has obtained a leasehold interest in the property for a minimum of five years.

The proposed rules would also require a permit holder to provide the Racing Commission a detailed project development budget for each planned off-track wagering facility – a budget created by a qualified professional design and construction team.

“The budget must include all hard and soft costs associated with the project …,” notes one section of the proposed rules, “and the permit holder bears the burden of establishing that the budget is a reasonable, informed and realistic projection of all applicable costs.”

The permit holder also must document that it has either placed monies into escrow, or secured an irrevocable letter of credit in an amount equal to the project development budget, so as to ensure sufficient financing of the project from licensure and construction through the start of daily off-track wagering operations.

The Racing Commission’s complete proposed amendments and new rules were published in the New Jersey Register on November 5, 2012. They can be reviewed in their entirety online at www.nj.gov/oag/racing/proposed.html.

Written comments on the proposed amendments and new rules can be submitted until January 4, 2013 to: Michael Vukcevich, Deputy Director, New Jersey Racing Commission, Department of Law and Public Safety, P.O. Box 088, Trenton, New Jersey,0865-0088.

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