Horse racing bill advances in New Jersey

The bill is advancing in New Jersey. Credits: U.S. Trotting Association

The bill would provide US$20 million to boost horse racing activity in the state.

US.- New Jersey lawmakers have recently introduced a bill that would provide US$20 million from the state’s general fund to increase the purse money at horse racing tracks in the state. The bill is now headed to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The bill establishes that for the next five years the racing industry industry would count with the extra US$20 million, starting in fiscal 2019. The money would be supplied every year to the New Jersey Racing Commission to be used for horse racing purse subsidies, and the Thoroughbred and the Standardbred industries would split the money in half.

Moreover, Monmouth Park would set the money for overnight purses. The Meadowlands racetrack would get 60% of the Standardbred share for overnight purses, 16% would go to Freehold for the same purpose, 12% to the New Jersey Sire Stakes purses, 6% to purse bonuses for New Jersey sired horses and 6% for breeders awards, TAPinto reported.

Last month, Assemblyman John Burzichelli said that racetracks have been economically struggling for quite some time, as casino subsidies ended in 2010, and added that the recently legalised sports betting industry might not be enough to make the racetracks competitive with the ones in New York and Pennsylvania, which have casinos. “We’ll see how the sports betting stuff really works out, what kind of number it brings us. Hopefully, it brings us a good number,” he said. “Maybe by that time, we have a full discussion on this issue, and maybe we don’t have to do this level of subsidy.”

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