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Atlantic City Racing Association v. Attorney General

Decided: December 27, 1983.

ATLANTIC CITY RACING ASSOCIATION, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY AND THE NEW JERSEY RACING COMMISSION, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS, AND THE NEW JERSEY SPORTS & EXPOSITION AUTHORITY, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County, whose opinion is reported at 189 N.J. Super. 549 (1983).

Bischoff, Petrella and Brody. Petrella, J.A.D. dissenting.

Per Curiam

This is an appeal from that portion of a judgment entered in the Law Division on April 20, 1983, which declared that:

The judgment is affirmed essentially for the reasons expressed by Judge Gruccio in his opinion reported at 189 N.J. Super. 549 (Law Div.1983).

We add the following facts. The Legislature passed and the governor approved on Sept. 7, 1983 the Intertrack Wagering Act, P.L. 1983, c. 340 [ N.J.S.A. 5:5-100 et seq. ]. The Introductory Statement accompanying the Bill reads:

This bill, to be known as the "Intertrack Wagering Act," provides for the simulcasting of an intertrack wagering on horse races conducted within the State.

The bill provides that intertrack wagering and simulcasting may be conducted until January 1, 1985, but will be extended only if the voters of the State approve the extension at the general election to be in November, 1984.

Section 15 of the Act provides:

This act shall take effect immediately, but shall expire on January 1, 1985 unless approved by the voters at the general election held in November, 1984 as provided in section 14 of this act.

Affirmed.

Judgment reversed, 98 N.J. 535.

PETRELLA, J.A.D. dissenting.

As a general rule provisions of our Constitution are considered a part of a living document and therefore subject to consideration in light of current events where not inconsistent with the fundamental intent expressed therein. Behnke v. N.J. Highway Auth., 13 N.J. 14, 25-26 (1953). I am of the opinion that the anti-gambling provision of the New Jersey Constitution (1947), Art. IV, § VII, par. 2, is an exception to that general rule and requires us to read the Constitutional provision strictly. Art. IV, § VII, par. 2 of our Constitution essentially imposes limitations on the Legislature's ability to enact laws in certain types of cases. The cited provision of our Constitution reads in part as follows:

No gambling of any kind shall be authorized by the Legislature unless the specific kind, restrictions and control thereof have been heretofore submitted to, and authorized by a majority of the votes cast by, the people at a special election or shall ...


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