New Jersey horse farms pushing for North Jersey gambling expansion

New Jersey voters will decide on Election Day whether or not to bring a casino to North Jersey.

New Jersey horse farms are pushing for North Jersey gambling expansion so they can benefit from a horse breeders' incentive program.

New Jersey horse farms are pushing for North Jersey gambling expansion so they can benefit from a horse breeders' incentive program. (10/12/16)

MANALAPAN - New Jersey voters will decide on Election Day whether or not to bring a casino to North Jersey.

A Stockton University poll released this month shows a majority of voters oppose the amendment, and there have been several television ads fighting against the plan. But one of the Garden State’s oldest farms are hoping the referendum will pass.

If the plan passes, part of the revenue from the new casino will go towards a horse breeders’ incentive program, which would bolster the state’s dwindling horse industry.

“It’s a way of life for us,” says Boxwood Farm manager Chuck Palmer. “There’s nothing that we do other than farming. This is what we do. We raise horses, we sell them. This is our life, this is our livelihood.”

The family that owns Boxwood Farm says they have been raising horses for 100 years. They say that the farm may not be sustainable two years from now if they do not get the breeders’ incentive.

State Sen. Jennifer Beck says that anti-expansion commercials are from out-of-state groups, such as competitors in Pennsylvania and New York.

“They stole pure revenue, they stole our jobs, and now they’re trying to pull the wool over our eyes and convince us not to vote for the expansion of gaming in North Jersey,” says Sen. Beck.

If the referendum passes, the new casino would most likely be built at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The casino cannot be built at Monmouth Park because it is within 72 miles of Atlantic City, a stipulation of the amendment.

Atlantic City officials are also against the referendum, even though some of the money from the new casinos would be dedicated back to the city, which is struggling financially.

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