01/09/2015 4:38PM

Atlantic City Race Course to close permanently

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Greenwood ACRA announced Friday that Atlantic City Race Course, which has primarily operated as a simulcast center since 1999, will close permanently Jan. 16.

Atlantic City Race Course opened in 1946 with a star-studded group of investors that included Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Harry James, Sammy Kaye, and Xavier Cugat. The advent of casino gambling in the 1970s in Atlantic City – about 12 miles away on the coast – hurt the track’s business, and it ran its last full meet in 1998. At the time, the track was owned by Robert Levy, whose father, Leon Levy, was an original investor.

In 2001, the track was sold to Greenwood Racing, the owners of Parx Racing in suburban Philadelphia.

In order to keep its racing license, operate as a simulcast center, and remain eligible for alternative forms of gambling if they were ever approved at New Jersey racetracks, Atlantic City has run five-day, turf-only meets in recent years. Its dirt track has not been maintained, and its crumbling grandstand has been fenced off from the public for years.

“We regret to announce that we must close Atlantic City Race Course immediately due to continuous business decline in the industry, the current regional economic climate, and the absence of alternative revenue opportunities,” said Joe Wilson, president of Greenwood ACRA.

Winning tickets can be cashed at Atlantic City Race Course until Jan 16. After that date, winning tickets may be cashed at Favorites at Vineland OTW.

Jim Burke More than 1 year ago
Shuttered no, in shambles yes. While Frank eliminates Calder, conflicting racing dates and thinned the wagering $ further , he invested in Florida and Maryland to get slot money and florida racing can thank him for 5k nw2l and maiden 10k racing . this at GP the premiere east coast race track. yeah, hes great for racing. hes entitled to make a buck but is he good for the racing world , I don't think so . its all about casino revenue. Joe , when is the last time you saw a live race. go to keenland, maybe Saratoga have some fun but this idea of shared governing for racing , ugh , couldn't think of a worse idea guy like stronach controlling racing more than he does already.
joseph More than 1 year ago
Good question I had to rack my brain, it was 2005. But I don't need to watch live my computer monitor and TV work fine. What I need are huge fields with massive pools where every day feels like its the breeders cup day. This same situation I suggest works well in Australia and Hong Kong. But don't worry my plan will never happen, each state wants to protect its own self interests and the game will slowly wither away.
joseph More than 1 year ago
You mean it wasn't already shuttered? Seriously we need to consolidate the sport and have one track run in the daytime and one at night. Have massive nation wide pools with huge fields. Horses who cant run without drugs need not apply, same goes for trainers, you get busted you are done.. Move the meetings frequently between the states so there is always fresh turf, subsidize the moving of horses. The night time track would be the feeder or minor league track. Of course nationalize the rules. Take these steps and it might become a big league sport again, might.
TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
Joe,honestly, are you in touch with reality?
Jim Burke More than 1 year ago
What an array of ideas. People like Frank Stronach are killing the game. I have been attending simulcast at ACRT for years. We put up with poor customer service , ,poor tvs and poor quality racing. But, as racing fans we went. Now the greed of Stronach eliminating feeds from several tracks over a percentage of the handle has doomed ACRT. There were over 8000 people attending the live racing meet daily yet Greenwood would not extend the meet. See you at the Borgota and I will miss those that cant.
Walter More than 1 year ago
How is Stronach killing the game? He is the only person putting money towards strictly horse racing operations like SA and the Maryland Jockey Club. He also put money towards racing in south Florida at GP and keeping Calder from being shuttered. Where would racing be without Frank Stronach?
Jim Burke More than 1 year ago
do you remember before frank there were no $ 5000 nw2l races written at GP . the level of horses and quality of racing drop off with his type of leadership. he drove calder into the ground out spending them into submission. yeah that's good for racing. Maryland racing, hes there for slot dollars just like florida. in order to get those $ he will support racing till he finds a way out. Walt $ people are in to squeeze the game until they no longer make a buck meanwhile you bet 10k maiden races at the premiere east coast race track. yeah hes good for the game.
Chuck Seddio More than 1 year ago
jimmy,serioulsy,spend some of that lufthansa money to rehab acr, see you at the borgota
Matt D. More than 1 year ago
+ 10 for telling it like it is and save me a seat!
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
Boo hoop. Crucify the only guy keeping racing alive. In return he would like to make some money if that's ok with you? Why should he not increase an 11 year old fee?
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
Who is taking care of the horseman in Florida that CDI f.ed over? Frankie boy.
r More than 1 year ago
Shame ATL is soon to shut it's doors but seriously I cant see how they have survived this long. last time I was in there the place was in shambles, no customers, and was just completely depressing. meadowlands down to 2 nights a week? who would have ever thought. MON is full of doping trainers like Navarro makes it un-bettable. The OTB locations are actually pretty decent in jersey. The one in Bayonne is really nice.
Marlon Martinez More than 1 year ago
Apps like XPress Bet are putting the Turf Clubs and OTBs about of business. That was what ACRC was, in essence. a Turf club with 10 race days. I have not walked up to a teller in a couple of years. I go to the live races and bet on my phone. No waiting in lines. Monmouth Park mentioned a possible purchase of ACRC to still have live racing in South Jersey. Let's hope that comes to pass.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
As a racing fan you hate to see the decline in the sport. But lets face it. its self inflicted..with racing forms at $10 and all the drugs and crooks its a wonder we have has many tracks as we do. I have been to many racetracks around the world including some modest middle of nowhere tracks and to me the worst track was suffolk downs. watching cheap horses stagger across the finish line ridden by bad jockeys and trained by needle trainers is no fun. to me anyway. the point is bad tracks like bad trainers and jockeys do nothing for the sport and should be taken out..
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
Hey Ray, you say needle Trainers at Suffolk Downs, name one who was caught doing anything illegal, name one Ray, you cant. Oh wait a minute, I remember an owners name in the program just like yours, was that you Ray at Suffolk? If so, I remember who had your horses, I think you could have done a bit better picking who you hire , or wait, you probably had a deal and just got what you deserved, a real porking to put a bad taste in your mouth. There were more real horseman and horsewoman at Suffolk Downs than any other racetrack you have stepped on. Breakdowns at Suffolk ? Not nearly as many at the Big tracks with big purses because of these people who"s horses stagger across the finish line, at least they kept there horses sound through days and weeks of hard work. The only thing you might have right Ray is part of your last sentence, bad trainers should be taken out of this game..............
Chuck Seddio More than 1 year ago
true the place is in shambles,i attended the last day of the meet,grass only racing and figured as much,but to close it means there will be only 1 place to make bets legally in this area and it is at the borgota. trop closed their race book a few years ago and caesers properties closed them last year. i live in the area and frequent the hamimlton mall,park outside of macys and see the grandstand everytime we are here. im hoping another casino venue starts a race book but it doesnt look promising. if you are in the area and need to get a bet down go to the borgata, first class race book and as with everything the borgata does things first class and has it figured out,if the borgata can make a profit why cant anyone else?
Lefty More than 1 year ago
One last comment on this matter. The problem is the whole place is in rough shape. The Building. The Concrete Viewing area to watch the races. The Parking lot. The Barns/Stables. You really can't train there, Parx/Greenwood never put a penny in the place. So, I am at a complete loss as how in the world they were losing so much money, when they put zero money into it! I just think it would be a shame, if they knock down the place without even giving it a chance to flourish again. A new Housing development would do nothing. A shopping center would be a complete waste of time, money, and effort. There really isn't anything you could put there that would make any sense. Whatever, they would replace the Race Course with would be redundant. So, I am hoping someone comes out of nowhere and does something so that live racing can at least continue there at least through 2015. I mean they already have the race dates. Cripes couldn't Trump use his Apprentice Show to do something about it? Icahn has the money to do something, I am sure others have money to do it. I really do think this is a complete shame if nothing is done.
Richard Kennedy More than 1 year ago
Mny happy memories of our stable winning races there. A shame they couldn't continue racing there.
russell More than 1 year ago
What I will add is New Jersey is one of the most corrupt states n the country. I worked in Law Enforcement in NY for a very long time. Some of the stuff you see and hear of in NJ you shake your head. If a case is kept with the local prosecutor w/o State or Federal involvement weird stuff happens. There's a reason why the Sopranos took place in NJ.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Will not dispute your claim about Jersey, but NY would be an equal, would it not?
russell More than 1 year ago
Not even close. Maybe 30 years ago but that isnt happening in NYC. Gulliani ended that. Good for him
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Yeah, good for him, he cleaned up a lot, and a lot of his "associates" were left hung out to dry, I'm not going to get political, but you said below something about cash. Much cash equals much corruption, when "Betfair" took over 4NJBETs, Lumpie, I mean Cristie, screwed NJ coffers, and NJ racing, big time.
Lefty More than 1 year ago
Russell, what exactly does what you typed here have to do with what happened to the AC Race Course?
Hail No More than 1 year ago
I can only speculate, but awhile back, there was a heavy, State Police presence at NJ tracks..
russell More than 1 year ago
Connect the dots Lefty. They're was nothing left to take at ACRC. I'm sure the dismantler of this place has a contract with some politician. There's an old adage; "Trash is cash"