06/30/2010 11:00PM

New Jersey panel gets extension


A panel studying the New Jersey racing and casino industries has been given a one-month extension for its report because of "the scope of their work," according to Sean Conner, a spokesman for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who commissioned the panel.

The panel, which is called the New Jersey Gaming, Sports, and Entertainment Commission, is now due to submit the report on Aug. 1. The panel was previously scheduled to submit the report on June 30.

Jeffrey S. Chiesa, Christie's legislative counsel, said in a June 28 letter to the panel's chairman, Jon Hanson, that the governor wanted to give the commission more time for its work "given the broad and wide-ranging scope of the commission's review and the emergence of additional matters to consider within your mandate."

The panel is expected to issue recommendations on how to restructure the state's Thoroughbred industry and improve conditions for New Jersey's beleaguered casinos in Atlantic City. According to an earlier report, the racing operations of the state-owned New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which owns and operates Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands, lost $13 million in 2009.

The state legislature is currently considering several bills affecting the racing and casino industries, including legislation passed unanimously in the Assembly this week that would authorize exchange wagering on horse races.

Monmouth Park is currently holding a 50-day live race meet that is expected to average $1 million a day in purse distribution. The meet is being heavily subsidized by revenue from the casino industry under a five-year agreement that expires this year.