11/09/2016 10:46AM

New Jersey casino measure defeated

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A referendum on the New Jersey ballot that would have authorized the legislature to approve two new casinos in the northern part of the state failed overwhelmingly in voting on Tuesday.

The ballot initiative was defeated by a 3-1 margin. If the measure had been approved, the Meadowlands, operated by the real-estate developer and racetrack-casino owner Jeff Gural, was considered a leading candidate to receive one of the two new licenses.

The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, which operates Monmouth Park, belatedly backed the measure after reaching an agreement on Monday in which Gural pledged to devote tens of millions of dollars to the Standardbred and Thoroughbred racing industries from casino revenues if he was successful in gaining a license. The horsemen had previously opposed the measure.

Polling had indicated that the initiative was doomed months before the Tuesday vote.