These people represent some of the groups who could be affected by a decision to allow slot machines at racetracks.
HORSE FARM OWNERS
Racehorse breeder, Perretti Farms, Monmouth County
His father turned an old potato farm into the state’s largest breeding business. Perretti says that raising a racehorse requires a three-year investment of time and money. Tracks offer special purses for horses bred in that state. Perretti says if breeders can earn more money elsewhere, they will leave New Jersey. And their farms could be sold to housing or retail developers.
RACETRACK OWNERSDennis Robinson
N.J. Sports and Exposition Authority president
The operator of the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park says racetracks are gaming companies, and they ought to have more than one gambling product to offer. New Jersey is ringed by
gambling competition, he says, so casinos, racetracks and the lottery should join strategic forces. The former NBA executive also is trying to stage big events, such as concerts, to draw fans to Meadowlands races.
OFF-TRACK WAGERINGRhonda Snyder
Manager, Favorites at Toms River
Snyder says the crowds are still growing at the year-old Favorites, one of only three off-track wagering sites in the state. A cross between a modern sports bar and a betting parlor, it features
hundreds of big-screen TVs showing races from across the country. Snyder knows some customers patronize her business instead of Freehold Raceway. But enough workers, couples and seniors pass through to make her believe Favorites is generating new racing customers.
Marketing V.P., Atlantic City Linen Supply
Nappen worries that if racetracks get slot machines, business will suffer. Atlantic City Linen, one of the nation’s largest laundry services, cleans uniforms and linens for Atlantic City’s casinos. The successful company opened a new plant, its third locally, in Atlantic City eight years ago. But Nappen said giving away the resort’s market share could hurt not only the linen cleaners and its 600 employees, but thousands of businesses all over New Jersey that have contracts with the casinos.
RACING’S ‘LITTLE GUYS’
Freehold horse trainer
Tashjian, 47, knows horse people at Freehold Raceway who struggle. He would not care if bettors came to tracks mainly for slot machines “and 30 people came for the races.” The money would keep people employed. “If this (track) closes, the big stables will survive. But the little guy will suffer, the guy who has three or four claimers. He isn’t getting rich, but he’s trying to make a living. They still have medical bills. They still have mortgages. They still have children.”
STATE GOVERNMENTJon S. Corzine
Corzine, facing a policy issue pitting the rich and powerful casino and horse racing industries against each other, created a commission to propose ways to save racing. Hundreds of millions of dollars in New Jersey tax revenue could be affected depending on whether racetracks get slot machines and whether casino earnings suffer.
Casino Reinvestment Development Authority director
Carver, a former casino industry representative, says the casinos have been unfairly blamed for racing’s decline for years. His agency invests casino money in redevelopment projects statewide. Carver recently told a state racing study commission that he believes that if New Jersey racetracks get slot machines, the state will not see another dollar invested by gaming companies in Atlantic City.
Recycling employee, retired Teamster
When Schaafsma was 14, his mother took him to racetracks and placed bets for him. “When I turned 18, I left Mom home!” he jokes. Schaafsma thinks a lot of casual gamblers value convenience. He said some of his senior citizen friends tell him they would drive to Atlantic City less often if gambling is available closer to home.