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Friday, October 18, 2019

N.J. Senate committee clears a bill to give $20 million to horse racing annually

TRENTON, N.J.--Thoroughbred racing at Monmouth Park in New Jersey will receive $10 million annually for the next five years under a bill that would appropriate $20 million to boost horse racing in New Jersey, which was voted out of committee in the state Senate.

Call PaulUnder the bill, for the fiscal year 2019 and in each of the four fiscal years thereafter, $20 million would be given annually to the New Jersey Racing Commission to be used for horse racing purse subsidies.

Thoroughbred and the standardbred racing would split the funds evenly.

Monmouth Park would use the money to supplement overnight purses.


THE MEADOWLANDS would get 60 percent of the standardbred share for overnight purses while 40 percent would go to Freehold, 16 percent for overnight purses, 12 percent to the New Jersey Sire Stakes purses, 6 percent to purse bonuses for New Jersey sired horses and 6 percent for breeders awards.

The bill, S2992, was sponsored by Sen. Vin Gopal of District 11 in Monmouth County, site of Monmouth Park and Freehold Raceway, and Sen. Paul A. Sarlo, District 36, which includes Bergen County, site of the Meadowlands.

The bill was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee and would supplement the racing industry for the next five years.

The bill was voted out of committee on Dec. 10 after an amendment was added that would require that net profits received from sports wagering be allocated to each racetrack.

Sports wagering is offered at the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park race tracks as well as casinos in Atlantic City and online.

The Assembly version of the bill, A4810 was introduced on Dec. 10 and referred to Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee

For many years, Atlantic City casinos provided $30 million a year to the tracks to prop up the racing industry, provided they did not pursue slots, until Gov. Chris Christie was elected.

In 2011 the state-run Meadowlands and Monmouth Park were handed over to private entities to operate but efforts to bring slots or video gaming terminals to the tracks failed, until earlier this year, the state won a long federal legal battle over sports betting and now the tracks as well as the casinos can take sports bets.

The tracks, especially Freehold Raceway, have struggled to attract horses enter its races which have lower purses than tracks in New York and Pennsylvania which receive funds from on-site casinos and other gambling.

The New Jersey Racing Commission is currently accepting comments on the bill.

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