05/30/2007 12:00AM

Handel leaves Philadelphia Park duties

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Hal Handel, since 1998 the chief executive officer at Philadelphia Park, has stepped down from the day-to-day operation of the track and its newly opened casino to concentrate on the New Jersey interests of Greenwood Racing, the track's owner.

Handel had been the executive vice president and general manager of Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands in New Jersey before joining Greenwood as Philadelphia Park's CEO in March 1998.

Handel oversaw the track and the introduction of slot machines there, as well as six offtrack betting sites, a phone betting system, Atlantic City Race Course, and Greenwood's partnership with Penn National Gaming in Freehold Raceway, a harness track in central New Jersey.

That job will now be split in two. Joe Wilson, Greenwood's vice president for wagering, will run the company's Pennsylvania operations. Handel will focus on New Jersey and the planned reconstruction of Atlantic City Race Course, development of offtrack wagering outlets, and a legislative push to bring expanded gaming to the state's tracks.

"The feeling was things were getting more and more complex in scope," Handel said. "This was a good time to split the jobs."

Before joining the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which owns Monmouth and the Meadowlands, Handel was a deputy attorney general for the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice and the executive director of the New Jersey Racing Commission.

Handel will now be based at Greenwood's offices at Atlantic City and and Freehold.